‘US intervened in Afghan clash’
KABUL: The US military has intervened in a clash between a group of gunmen and pro-government forces in Afghanistan for the first time since its deployment in the country late last year, a local Afghan official said on Saturday.
Mamoor, a spokesman for the military division of the southeastern province of Khost, said US helicopters broke up a firefight between a group of armed nomads and local government forces which started over a land dispute.
Neither the US military nor members of the group of nomads, or Kuchis, were immediately available for comment. According to Mamoor, at least six armed nomads were wounded during clashes with the government forces on Thursday near Khost city.
The two sides fought with light machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades for about two hours until two US helicopters attacked nomad positions on cliffs surrounding Kikara village, about one kilometre (half a mile) southeast of Khost and close to a US military base. “The clashes started when the Kuchis ignored an ultimatum (by the local government) to desert government plots where they had built houses several years ago,” Mamoor told Reuters by satellite telephone from Khost. “The Kuchis began to fire on government soldiers who had gone there after the ultimatum was issued and wounded two soldiers. Two American choppers came and fired on the Kuchis who fled from their positions and the fighting stopped.” —Reuters