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Warlords Reportedly Capture Afghan Provincial Capital

(file photo) 18 June 2004 -- Reports from Afghanistan say local warlords stormed a remote provincial capital and forced the governor to flee.

The violence broke out late yesterday in Chagcharan, the capital of Ghor Province, some 220 kilometers west of the capital, Kabul.

Ghor Governor Ibrahim Malikzada is reported to have taken refuge in Herat, the closest large city. It is not immediately clear who commanded the attacking forces.

Reuters quotes a Ghor police chief, General Zaman, as saying that renegade commander Abdul Salaam Khan captured most of the capital overnight.

The Associated Press quotes Din Mohammed Azimi, Ghor's deputy governor, as saying a group of rival factions led by commander Rais Salam launched the attack.

Zaman told Reuters that several people have been killed in the fighting. He said he has called on the central government to send in reinforcements.