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TALIBAN RELIGIOUS ARMY BURNS HOMES AND BEATS CIVILIANS

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Taliban troops moved into a small village north of Kabul Tuesday, burning homes and beating civilians in a hunt for former government soldiers, witnesses said.

Ousted government soldiers and the Taliban religious army are battling 15 miles north of Kabul near the village of Mir Bacha Kot along a front line that has not changed in two days.The fighting continued unabated Tuesday as diplomats from the United Nations and neighboring Pakistan tried to broker a cease-fire.

Refugees from Karizhmir, a cluster of sun-dried mud homes in Taliban-controlled territory just south of the frontline, fled into the capital Tuesday to escape the Taliban onslaught.

"People in our village had to flee because the Taliban stormed our village this morning and started burning down our houses," said Syed Arif.