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Rival Militias Begin Disarming In Northern Afghanistan


Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan; 21 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Soldiers from two feuding militias in northern Afghanistan began disarming today, handing over their tanks and heavy weapons for storage. Clashes between the two rival militias -- one loyal to ethnic Uzbek commander General Abdul Rashid Dostum and the other to ethnic Tajik commander Ata Mohammad -- have cost scores of lives in recent weeks.

Dostum and Mohammad attended the weapon decommissioning ceremony today along with the British Ambassador to Afghanistan Ron Nash.

The equipment, which is expected to include a total of about 100 tanks, will be stored under the guard of non-factional Afghan Army guards.
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