RealNews

Tempers Rise in Afghanistan Before Vote

President Hamid Karzai spurned one of Afghanistan’s most powerful warlords Monday, refusing to accept Defense Minister Mohammed Qassim Fahim as one of his two vice presidential running mates in fall elections. The decision increased tensions between Karzai and Fahim, but the warlord will remain in his post as defense minister, said a senior general in Fahim’s Northern Alliance militia force. The general spoke on condition that he not be identified because of the sensitive nature of the political dispute. Fahim was a key U.S. ally in the 2001 war to topple the Taliban regime and can call on about 50,000 militia fighters, as well as units in the Afghan national army who remain loyal to him. He had expected that the military muscle would assure him a place on Karzai’s ticket in the October elections.Full Story

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