The Northern Alliance leaders decided to postpone the offensive on Kabul until an interim government of Afghanistan were formed, The Washington Post reported Thursday. The newspaper says that a conference involving 120 delegates from various Afghani political parties and ethnic groups is to take place in the Panjshir Valley. Representatives of former Afghan king Zahir Shah are also expected to attend the conference. The conferees are to discuss the interim government makeup and possibly decide on summoning the Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) to formally resolve this issue. The Northern Alliance decided to postpone its offensive on Kabul after consultations with the US and other international representatives, according to The Washington Post. The paper writes, referring to officials in the Pakistani and US governments and at the United Nations, that, "the US government has been under intense pressure from Pakistani officials and UN authorities to prevent the Northern Alliance from capturing the Afghan capital and effectively claiming control over the country before an interim agreement and security can be arranged".
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building