Afghanistan: April 29, 2002

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In the last two days, a three way fight by warlords for control of eastern Paktia province left 35 people dead and 80 wounded as warlord Padsha Kahn fired 83 rockets at the provincial capital. Paktia is particularly volatile as it is a major crossing into Pakistan and the center of much smuggling and drug production activity. In other words, there's a lot of money at stake for whoever controls the province. Some U.S. special forces are in the area trying to arrange a truce and sort things out. 

About two dozen American soldiers and CIA agents are said to be operating just across the border in Pakistan.

Turkey has agreed to take over control of the Afghan peacekeeping force for six months and contribute more troops (there are now 267 Turkish soldiers in the country). Turkey has had long relations with Afghanistan in the 20th century, starting in the 1920s when they sent economic aid. 

 

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