Jets bomb Kabul's presidential palace

KABUL (AP) - A militia that helped to end Communist rule battled its former allies in the new Islamic government yesterday, bombing the presidential palace in the fiercest fighting in more than three months. The attacks by Abdul Rashid Dostam's militia appeared to be aimed at ensuring a transfer of power within Afghanistan's fractious coalition government. President Burhanuddin Rabbani is supposed to surrender power on Tuesday, when a council is to convene to choose Afghanistan's next ruler. The council has yet to be organised. A multi-party Islamic government took over from a Communist government in April but the factions have since been fighting each other, vying for supremacy.

Yesterday Gen Dostam took control of the main road running from the airport to installations around Kabul. Jets bombed the compound housing the presidential palace and Defence Ministry. The general's forces also overran an apartment complex built by the former Soviet Union while its troops occupied Afghanistan.