3 killed as tribes clash over government land
JALALABAD (PAN): At least three people have been killed and 12 others injured in the fighting between two tribes in eastern Nangarhar province over government land, officials said on Thursday.
The predawn fighting erupted at 3:00 am between the Ali Sher Khel and Sepai tribes in Achin and Spinghar districts, said the commander of the eastern zone border police.
Brig. Gen. Aminullah Amarkhel told Pajhwok Afghan News the clash was ongoing until 9.00am. Amarkhel ordered the police who went to the area to halt the gunbattle to fire on any side that attacked them.
The fatalities were on the Ali Sher Khel side, said a tribal elder, Mullah Jan, who added that six people from the same tribe were also injured.
Nangarhar Public Health Director Dr. Baz Mohammad Sherzad also confirmed that three corpses and five injured people had been brought to hospital from the scene.
No one knew who initiated the fighting, Mullah Jan, said. He also said he had taken three injured people to Jalalabad Civil Hospital.
However, Malak Osman, a Sepai tribal elder, contradicted Jan's account, claiming that Ali Sherkhel fighters started the battle after pushing one kilometre into the Sepai area.
An advisor to President Karzai, Asadullah Wafa, led a delegation to Jalalabad to help end the fighting but did not succeed.
Osman blamed the government for not doing enough to put an end to the conflict, avoiding putting pressure on the rival side to come to the negotiating table.
Because of this conflict, anti-government fighters had gained ground in all four districts inhabited by Shinwaris, he believed. He confirmed that six men from the tribe men were injured in the fighting
Last year, more than 10 people suffered casualties in clashes between the two tribes over government land in Achin, Spin Ghar and Ghanikhel districts of the province.
Brig. Gen. Aminullah Amarkhel said on Wednesday the border police should be guarding the frontier rather than stopping fighting between the tribes. "If high-ranking officials allow me, we can disarm both sides in one hour."
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