Afghan town falls

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The Independent Online
Maidan Shahr (Reuter) - Fighters of the militant Afghan student movement Taleban captured the provincial capital of Maidan Shahr yesterday, driving out defenders of the Hizbe Islami party of the former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Visiting reporters saw Taleban fighters in control of the strategic town, which is the capital of Wardak province, 18 miles west of the capital, Kabul.

A Taleban leader, Mulla Mohammad Rabbani, said the group's fighters, who are students of Islam, had launched their second attack this week on Maidan Shahr and captured the town within two hours.

He said two Taleban fighters were killed while there were many deaths on the other side. Kabul Radio confirmed the surprise attack on the town had put Taleban in control of Wardak province.