Afghans go on the defensive

Kabul - The forces of President Burhanuddin Rabbani of Afghanistan are strengthening defences on the western front lines to ward off any threat from advancing Taliban troops near Kabul. A defence ministry spokesman confirmed the defences were being reinforced, but did not link it to the Taliban advance.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the main opposition leader, denied yesterday that Taliban had taken the eastern province of Logar from his forces. Afghan sources in Pakistan said Taliban has made new gains in its advance on Kabul and controlled the main approaches south of the capital. AFP, Reuter