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Rashid Dostum captures Afghan city
KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Uzbek warlord's militia took over a city in northern Afghanistan on Thursday, even as newly trained Afghan National Army troops were being flown in from Kabul to quell the fighting.
Dostum's forces had seized control of several towns in the north of the province and were advancing on Maimana, the local intelligence chief, Homayoun Aini, said in a telephone interview Wednesday. He said the militia forces had captured Juma Bazaar, a suburb just 12 miles from the center of the provincial capital, and two other districts to the north.
KANDAHAR: Clashes in Afghanistan left at least seven people dead, including four Afghan soldiers and police officers in the country’s insurgency-torn south, officials said Thursday.
A militant and an Afghan soldier were killed in a gunbattle that also left an American soldier and a second Afghan wounded, the US military said. The soldiers were not identified and no details of their injuries were given, AP reported
Factions clash in Afghan province
Faryab's intelligence chief, Omayoun Haini, told the Associated Press news agency that between 2,000 and 3,000 Dostum soldiers had crossed into Faryab from neighbouring provinces on Tuesday on 200 vehicles and 400 horses.
General Dostum is an adviser to President Hamid Karzai but his forces have been involved in several territorial clashes since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.
Mr Anayatullah told the Reuters agency: "The reason Dostum launched this attack is because we obey the central government and he does not like that. He wants this province under his control."
Our correspondent says that sources in the area believe that neither the governor nor General Dostum are popular with local people, who are said to want an outside appointment.
This is the latest in a series of confrontations between strong regional commanders and the central government in Kabul.
Last month there was fighting in the western city of Herat, after the killing of Afghanistan's minister for civil aviation, who was also the son of Herat's powerful governor, Ismail Khan.