ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Afghanistan's Taliban army dropped several cluster bombs on the northern city of Taloqan on Friday, killing nine people, including a foreign journalist, an opposition spokesman said.

Hussein Anwari said Taliban jets screamed in low over the opposition stronghold of Taloqan, the capital of northern Takhar shortly after noon, dropping several cluster bombs.

Three journalists, two of whom were believed to be French, although their organization was not known, were in the bazaar when the bombs were dropped, Anwari said.

One journalist died of his injuries later in hospital in neighboring Tajikistan where all three had been flown following the bombing, said another opposition spokesman contacted in Tajikistan.

The other eight killed were Afghans shopping in the market, Anwari said.

Anwari is a member of Afghanistan's opposition alliance, led by former military chief Ahmed Shah Massood and former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, whose headquarters is in Taloqan.

There was no immediate comment from the Taliban army, which rules roughly 90 percent of Afghanistan. The opposition rules the remaining 10 percent and is fighting to stop the Taliban from consolidating their authority over the entire country.

The Taliban espouse a rigid form of Islamic law and largely represent Afghanistan's majority Pashtun ethnic group.

The opposition, which is a collection of several small parties, is made up mostly of representatives of the country's minority ethnic groups.