Kabul claims victory over dissident guerrillas

ISLAMABAD (Reuter) - Afghan government forces claimed victory yesterday after two days of fierce battles with a dissident mujahedin group, saying it had been routed from positions to the south of the capital, Kabul.

The hardline Hizbe Islami group, however, said fierce fighting was still going on around Kabul and offered conditions to end a bombardment of the city that has left more than 1,000 dead or injured. The group accused troops loyal to the three-month-old Islamic government of starting the fighting by pounding its positions with Scud missiles. 'Heavy loss of life and property was caused in the merciless bombing which is still continuing,' the group said.

The fundamentalist party broke an overnight lull, launching fresh heavy rocket attacks on the Afghan capital, guerrilla sources said by telephone from the Pakistani border town of Peshawar. Government planes bombed Hizbe Islami rocket positions in Logar, south of Kabul, the sources said.