Dozens of people were reported killed or wounded in fighting on Wednesday between pro-government factions in northern Afghanistan as a deal was signed on a key U.N.-backed plan to demobilize warlord armies. The security commander in the northern capital of Mazar-i-Sharif declared a night-time curfew there after the clashes west of the city between Jamiat and Junbish forces, made up mainly of rival ethnic groups in the volatile region. Rival commanders said more than 50 people were killed and wounded in the clashes which came as the Defense Ministry, the United Nations and Japan signed an agreement in Kabul on an ambitious plan to demobilize 100,000 factional fighters. The clashes between warlord militias, seen as the main threat to President Hamid Karzai’s efforts to extend his influence into unruly provinces, was among the worst since the overthrow of the Taliban regime by U.S.-led forces in late 2001. Full Story
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