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Two Fighters Die in Afghan Clash

March 6, 2003

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ Rival factions clashed in a northern Afghan village, leaving at least two combatants dead and three others wounded, a military commander said Thursday.

The local commander of one faction was killed in the fighting in Gosfandi in the northern Sar-e-Pul province on Wednesday, said Abdul Sabor, one of Mohammed’s senior lieutenants.

He said it was unclear what set off the exchange of fire. Both factions are loyal to warlord Atta Mohammed.

Fighting frequently breaks out between rival groups in northern Afghanistan _ usually between Mohammed’s supporters and those loyal to another warlord, Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Most of Afghanistan’s countryside is ruled by regional warlords who control territories outside the influence of the central government in Kabul.

Last week, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers met with three northern warlords, including Mohammed. Afterward, he said all three had agreed to ease fighting in the region and guarantee security for displaced ethnic groups trying to return home.

Meanwhile in western Afghanistan, a civilian was killed and three were wounded Wednesday when the jeep they were traveling in struck a mine on a main road in Zer-e-Koh, just south of Shindand Air Base in Herat province, said warlord Ammanullah Khan.

Update hourly