The Northern Alliance troops concentrated a massive group on the central Takhar direction, but the offensive is still subject to question. Both the Taliban and the Northern Alliance troops have been recently abstaining from energetic actions on the Takhar direction tensely waiting for the start of U.S. operations in Afghanistan, RIA Novosti correspondent reports. The Northern Alliance troops on the Takhar direction reinforced its central 10,000-strong Massood group named so to honour the memory of the Northern Alliance murdered leader almost by 50 per cent at the expense of Mujahedins from Kabul, and Kapisa and Kunduz provinces. In their turn, the Taliban consolidated their positions at the expense of its select troops - the Pakistani, Arab, Chechen militants and military commander Juma Namangani's rebels. The Taliban held marches of protest in connection with the U.S.-planned operation in Afghanistan, the Kabul radio broadcasts. About 5,000 volunteers joined the Taliban in Kunduz province. General Iskhak responsible for Hadjigor zone (western flank of the Takhar direction) told RIA Novosti that the Taliban were urgently mining approaches to their positions on this sector. However, the USA is said to begin the operation no sooner than in a month. The Northern Alliance actions in this case are still unknown.