Afghanistan: May 10, 2004

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Government troops and warlord militia argued over who should control the collection of customs and bribes at a border post on the Afghan frontier. Four customs police died, as did the local warlord and two of his gunmen. Control of these border posts has long been a source of  dispute between the central government and local warlords who have controlled some of these border crossings for years. 

Warlords are resisting disarmament, and attempts to shut down the drug business. The government has one major advantage; it can put more force against any individual warlord than any warlord can handle. But there are dozens of substantial warlord forces (with at least a few hundred gunmen) in the country, and hundreds of smaller ones.

 

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