AFGHAN GOVERNMENT, REBELS REJECT CEASE-FIRE
After a week of violence in Kabul that has left an estimated 1,000 people dead, tens of thousands homeless and entire neighborhoods destroyed, neither side in Afghanistan's civil war appears ready for a compromise.
On Aug. 18, artillery duels occurred south of Kabul between the forces of rebel chief Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the interim Afghan government, according to sources in Kabul. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
On Aug. 17, Hekmatyar repeated his claim that Afghanistan's beleaguered Islamic government was illegal and vowed to drive it out of the rocket-ravaged capital if his demands were not met.
Interim Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani has rejected United Nations' pleas for a cease-fire with Hekmatyar. He promised safe passage to diplomats leaving the besieged capital of Kabul.