30 killed as two warlords clash in Herat
A resident of the area Mohammad Ibrahim told this news agency several innocent civilians were also killed
KABUL: Fighting between two rival factions has killed about 30 people in Shindand district of the western Herat province of Afghanistan, the provincial police said on Monday.
The conflict broke out on Sunday after some militants loyal to local commander, Arbab Basir, ambushed a car carrying another high ranking official Amanullah Khan.
The Taliban and other anti-government groups in Afghanistan have gained public support due to the Afghan government's failure to provide essential security and development, and have used the presence of warlords in the government to discredit President Karzai's administration and its international backers.
HRW, Sep. 27, 2006
The ambush occurred in Shindand district, about 120 km south of the provincial capital Heart.
About 30 people from both sides including Khan and his son were killed in the ambush and many others were injured, the official said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the NATO forces in Herat confirmed the fierce fighting and the deaths.
The spokesperson said some NATO soldiers have been despatched to the district to keep security, but he declined to tell the exact number.
Khan, an ethnic Pashtun commander, who had hundreds of militias under him, frequently clashed with his Tajik rivals led by former Herat province governor Ismail Khan in the previous years.
According to Pajhwok Afghan News, a resident of the area Mohammad Ibrahim told this news agency several innocent civilians were also killed in the shootout. Gen Akramudinm, a police official, told this news agency 32 people including Amanullah were killed and several others were wounded in the firefight. Provincial police chief Ayub Salangi told this news agency 14 supporters of Arbab Baseer were killed and six others were wounded in the gun battle. He said Afghan National Army (ANA) and police were sent in the area and both the factions reached cease fire late last night.