May 24, 1997 in Nation/World

Afghan Militia Conquers Provinces

Compiled From Wire Services

Northern warlord Rashid Dostum has lost two key provinces to a hard-line religious militia that already controls two-thirds of the country, his spokesman conceded Friday.

The Taliban army has driven Dostum’s fighters from northwestern Badghis province, and a mutinous general has seized almost all of neighboring Faryab province, said the spokesman, identified only as Gen. Yusuf.

Yusuf didn’t say when Badghis fell, but he acknowledged that it had been lost to the Islamic army, which is seeking to impose its strict version of Islam nationwide.

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