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Rival Police Clash In North Afghan City In Spat Between President, Ex-Governor

Gunfire has broken out in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif between police loyal to a powerful former provincial governor and Interior Ministry forces sent to support a new police chief who was appointed by President Ashraf Ghani. The March 14 gunbattle was sparked by the dispute between Ghani and Balkh Province's former governor, Atta Mohammad Noor, an ethnic Tajik former warlord whose militia fighters now form most of the provincial police force. Hospital officials in Mazar-e Sharif told RFE/RL that at least 13 people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds sustained during the March 14 fighting -- including eight police officers and five civilians. They did not specify whether the wounded police were from the Interior Ministry or provincial police who remain loyal to Noor.....................

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