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Afghan city shuts down over police chief appointment

IANS  |  Kabul 

Afghanistan's northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif observed a shutdown on Thursday as armed supporters of a powerful former clashed with government forces over the appointment of a new

The central government cleared the appointment of as the new of Balkh, replacing Gen. Akram Sammeh, amid worsening security situation in the northern province, news reported.

"In order to improve the security situation of Balkh, it was decided to bring change in police leadership," the said in a statement.

But the decision was objected by former and powerful warlord Atta Muhammad Noor, who is also of the political party, and holds great sway in province.

Mazar-e-Sharif is the provincial capital of

"I call upon on all residents of Mazar-e-Sharif to stay indoors. Shops and markets must be kept shut until further notice," Noor said in a statement on

He alleged that the Presidential Place in had plotted against him and "brought the war to Mazar-e-Sharif", indicating that there is an all-out war between him and Afghan

"Now that they raided our people, we are ready for every kind of sacrifices to defend the lives and properties of our people," Noor said, referring to the appointment of the new police chief, who arrived in the city, accompanied by special police forces.

As Mubariz tried to enter inside the police headquarters, Noor's supporters blocked him and attacked his security forces with arms.

said that one was injured in the clash. He added the police arrested 25 people before the new and his personnel entered the headquarters.

Rahimi said special police forces were deployed across the city as a precautionary measure.

Saleh Muradi, a provincial council member, said that the situation remained tense as all shops and offices were closed. He said gunshots were heard around the police headquarters.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 19:24 IST