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Kabul, 8 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The Afghan Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali says the first batch of national army troops has arrived to reassert control in a remote province that was taken over today by a local warlord.

Jalali told reporters in Kabul that the government hopes the situation will improve now that the first group of a total of 750 soldiers has arrived in Faryab province, 420 kilometers northwest of Kabul.

Jalali said that troops loyal to ethnic Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum swept into Maymana, the center of the province.

Jalali said there were no reports of casualties, but Dostum aides said guards had fired on a crowd, killing four, as Governor Enayatullah Enayat was rushed to a nearby airport.
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