Fighting in Afghanistan continues

April 8, 2004 at 9:39 PM
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FARYAB, Afghanistan, April 8 (UPI) -- Fighting in Afghanistan stretched into third day Thursday between the private army of a northern General and a government militia force.

Forces belonging to General Dostum have been clashing in Faryab Province with troops of the government-appointed military since Tuesday, Radio Free Europe reported Thursday.

"The Defense Ministry has decided to send in a team to investigate how the clashes started, who it was started by and why it all happened. Also, a battalion of the Afghan National Army is being sent to Faryab to show the presence of the central government and to bring security," a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, General Mohammad Zaher Azimi, said.

Afghan Transitional Chairman Hamid Karzai's government said that Governor Anayatullah Anayat as its legitimate representative in Faryab, and if the government investigation determines Dostum has acted against Anayat, it would be deemed "an unlawful act."

Karzai's spokesman, Jawed Ludin, said that while General Dostum is an adviser to Karzai, he does not have the right to deploy his private militia forces or get involved in "military operational issues."

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