Afghan infighting claims 9 lives

Published September 30, 2002

ISLAMABAD, Sept 29: Heavy fighting erupted between two pro-government commanders in the eastern Afghan province of Paktia Sunday leaving nine people dead including a former commander of rebel warlord Padsha Khan, a report said.

Fighting between the forces of commander Abdul Mateen and Raz Mohammad in the town of Sayed Karam, 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the provincial capital Gardez, broke out early Sunday and continued late into the evening, the Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) said.

Both sides were using machine-guns, rockets and cannons, it said, quoting witnesses.

“Raz Mohammad was killed in the fighting. I have seen his body with my own eyes,” a witness was quoted as telling AIP.

It said at least nine people from both sides were killed and more than a dozen injured.

The exact cause of fighting was not immediately clear.

Raz Mohammad had been a Khan loyalist but he switched sides last month and joined forces loyal to the provincial government. The move gave him control of Syed Karam district, AIP said.

US official: Washington will remain committed to its military role in Afghanistan regardless of action against Iraq, but will soon shift to peacekeeping duties from combat missions, a senior US defence official said in Kabul on Sunday.

Asked during a one-day visit to Kabul whether there would be a withdrawal of US troops, especially special forces, from Afghanistan, to prepare for action against Iraq, Undersecretary for Defence Douglas Feith said:

“We have a responsibility to Afghanistan that the United States government is committed to fulfilling, no matter what happens elsewhere in the world.”

The war on terror involved many activities globally, “but we’ll be able to do them while we are fulfilling our basic responsibilities here in Afghanistan,” he said.”

He said the US military’s assistance would continue as long as required and any changes in force structure would be dictated by tasks in hand.

“For example, there will undoubtedly, in the near future, be a shift towards more emphasis on stability operations,” he said.—AFP/Reuters

Opinion

Editorial

Shared goals
Updated 16 Aug, 2022

Shared goals

It is high time that all parties realise that negotiation on the economy does not need to be held hostage to political rivalries.
Making amends?
16 Aug, 2022

Making amends?

WHERE relations with the US are concerned, there has been a distinct shift in Imran Khan’s tone. While the PTI...
Hazardous celebration
16 Aug, 2022

Hazardous celebration

CAN celebratory actions that often result in death or lifelong injuries really be described as such? Be it Eid, New...
Taliban anniversary
15 Aug, 2022

Taliban anniversary

A YEAR ago on this day, the Afghan Taliban rolled into Kabul as the Western-backed government fell like a house of...
Extreme measures
Updated 15 Aug, 2022

Extreme measures

Government has overreacted to a degree that has given ammunition to the PTI to accuse it of ‘fascism’.
A depraved society
15 Aug, 2022

A depraved society

IF the extent of sexual violence against women and children is any measure of a society’s moral degradation, then ...