The World

Two rival U.S.-backed Afghan resistance groups fought fierce battles this month that left about 300 guerrillas dead in an escalation of an internecine rebel conflict, one of the groups said. At a news conference in the Pakistan border city of Peshawar, the deputy chief of the Hizb-i-Islami accused the Jamaat-i-Islami faction of launching a massive attack on one of its bases in the northern Afghan province of Takhar. He said the three-week conflict in the town of Farkhar left 300 dead, including about 200 of the attackers. The reported attack apparently was in retaliation for an ambush by Hizb-i-Islami guerrillas on the rival group in Takhar last month, in which Jamaat charged that 30 of its fighters were killed.

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