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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Taliban Said To Occupy Crucial Pass

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Taliban religious army has pushed further north in Afghanistan, claiming Tuesday that it had overrun enemy positions in a strategic pass.

Taliban soldiers pushed rival Shiite Moslem fighters out of Shebir Pass, 100 kilometers northwest of the Afghan capital of Kabul, said Amir Khan Muttaqi, a Taliban spokesman.

Control of the pass on the edge of the Hindu Kush mountain range would give the Taliban a toehold into the central Bamyan province. "We have pushed into Bamyan province and are continuing our push," Muttaqi said.

The claim could not be independently confirmed. If true, the victory for the Taliban will be worrisome for northern arlord Rashid Dostum, whose army is protecting a northern empire that includes roughly seven provinces.