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Afghanistan: Rival Warlords Battle In Western Province

Peshawar, Pakistan; 23 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Ethnic Pashtun and Tajik warlords reportedly have clashed over control of a town in western Afghanistan. A spokesman for Pashtun commander Amanullah Khan told RFE/RL today that the fighting over the town of Gardana began Sunday night (21 July) and continued into Monday. Amanullah Khan's forces battled those of Ismail Khan, the ethnic Tajik governor of Herat.

Amanullah Khan's spokesman says the fighting started in Gardana after an agreement to keep military forces out of the town was not respected by Ismail Khan's forces.

A delegation of four cabinet ministers from the transitional government in Kabul traveled to the region and negotiated a cease-fire.

The spokesman says Amanullah Khan is observing it despite continued attacks from the other side. But the spokesman's statements could not be independently confirmed.