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Afganistan: Armed Uprising Reported Against Dostum

Islamabad, 19 May 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Reports coming from Afghanistan say there has been an armed uprising against General Rashid Dostum, the warlord who controls parts of northern Afghanistan.

The Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news agency reports that Dostum's forces lost control of the northeastern Faryab province to rebel forces led by General Abdul Malik Pahlawan, one of the leading commanders of Dostum's Uzbek militia. Other areas are said to have fallen under rebel control, at least briefly.

Associated Press quotes Afghan officials and Pakistani intelligence sources as supporting key aspects of the AIP report. Those sources say that the rebels have ambushed and killed the governor of Samangan province, Abdul Quddoos, and at least 14 other people in that province.

The reports say the uprising relates to the recent assassination of a commander who is described as an ally of Pahlawan. Dostum was suspected of being behind the murder. In Kabul, the Islamic Taliban movement -- which controls two-thirds of Afghan territory -- says it is cooperating with the rebels against Dostum.