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Heavy Bombing Targets Taleban Front Lines North of Kabul - 2001-10-28

U.S. warplanes are conducting daylight strikes on Taleban targets near Kabul, following heavy bombing Saturday against Taleban frontlines to the north of the city. In neighboring Pakistan, thousands of armed militants are trying to cross into Afghanistan vowing to help defend the Taleban.

The latest strikes have focused on Taleban frontline positions northeast of the capital, though opposition forces there have yet to make any significant gains in their bids to capture Kabul and the key northern town, Mazar-i-Sharif.

The latest bombing comes after a stray U.S. bomb hit a northern village in opposition-controlled territory, killing at least 10 civilians. Northern Alliance officials there have confirmed the bombing, just days after a U.S. attack destroyed a Red Cross warehouse in Kabul.

In neighboring Pakistan, as many as 4,000 tribesmen are attempting to cross into Afghanistan to fight on behalf of the Taleban. Many of them armed with automatic weapons, the militants camped for the night near the border, and were expected to resume their trek today.

Interior Ministry official Javed Iqbal Cheema, says Pakistani authorities are moving to turn them back. "We are having a dialog with them and hopefully we think that the better sense will prevail and they will turn back," he said. "But should they remain defiant the Pakistan government will take the appropriate action."

Mr. Cheema also says local officials are negotiating with tribal militants that have blocked the Karakorum Highway that leads to China. They have vowed to remain until the government takes back its support for the U-S led military campaign.

Support for the Taleban is high in Pakistan's northern tribal areas, which have seen almost daily protests since the start of the bombing three weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Taleban authorities say they have buried the body of slain opposition leader Abdul Haq. He was executed Friday after slipping back into Afghanistan in a bid to convince tribal leaders to support a U.S. backed plan to form a new broad-based government.

His family was expected to hold a memorial service for him Sunday in the Pakistani frontier town of Peshawar.

U.S. officials have denied Taleban claims that he was spying for the United States, as well as news reports that a U.S. helicopter attempted to rescue the opposition leader.