[QODLink]
Archive
Dustum's forces capture Afghan town

Forces of a renegade adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai have overrun the capital of a

Last Modified: 10 Apr 2004 07:45 GMT
Dustum (L) had opposed Karzai's attempt for presidency

Forces of a renegade adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai have overrun the capital of a northern province.

Forces of ethnic Uzbek strongman General Abd al-Rashid Dustum invaded Faryab province on Wednesday, prompting the central government to dispatch national army troops there on Thursday in an attempt to restore order.

   

"Both the governor and the commander have fled. Dustum's forces have overrun Maimana," said a defence ministry official, who did not want to be identified.

   

Presidential spokesman Jawed Ludin said an emergency National Security Council meeting chaired by Karzai had heard the city fell "to irresponsible armed individuals from neighbouring provinces and areas around Maimana".

 

Fighting

   

United Nations spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva said UN staff in Maimana had reported fighting in the city on Thursday, but he had no further details.

   

The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press news agency said a batch of national army troops had reached Mainama airport, but had not ventured into the city.

   

A soldier from the force of General Muhammad Hashim Habibi, the commander of the provincial militia who fled with Governor Anayat Allah Anayat, said Habibi was currently in Belcheragh, a town about 40km east of Maimana.

  

"We would like to ensure security for the people and uphold the authority of the central government"

Jawed Ludin,
Presidential spokesman

The government has defended Anayat as its legitimate representative in Faryab, and said if an investigation determined Dustum had acted against him, it would be deemed "an unlawful act".

   

Spokesman Ludin said earlier the deployment of the national army would be "just one measure" to ensure the situation did not worsen.

   

"General Dustum is an adviser to the President. However, that does not give him the right to deploy forces or get involved in any military operational issues," he said.

   

"We would like to ensure security for the people and uphold the authority of the central government," he said. "The people need to know they will not be left to the mercy of warlords."

   

Dustum's forces have been involved in several rounds of fighting for territory since the overthrow of the Taliban in late 2001. A federalist, he unsuccessfully opposed Karzai's attempt for a strong presidency in a constitutional assembly in January.

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list