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Helicopter gunships strike Qaisari’s house after he resisted arrest

Mazar-e-Sharif – one of key province has been partially paralyzed on Sunday as gunfight between security forces and Qaisari’s bodyguards ongoing

AT News

KABUL: Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital city of northern Balkh province has been partially paralyzed after clashes between security forces and armed men of former police chief of Faryab’s Qaisar district, Nizamuddin Qaisari that have been continue since Saturday night, officials said Sunday.

The clashes began on Saturday night around 11:00pm local time, after Afghan security forces, which had arrest warrant of the notorious commander, approached residence of Qaisari in Police District 5th of Mazar-e-Sharif, to arrest him, but the commander declined to surrender and engaged in armed resistance against the security forces which still continue.

Provincial police said that Qaisari own more than 150 illegal armed men, and is accused of destabilizing security in Mazar-e-Sharif city and his men involved in extortions and other illegal doings in the city.

For these reasons judicial organs issued Qaisari’s arrest warrant along with his armed men.

“Security forces who were deployed to arrest Qaisari were faced armed resistance from Qaisari and his men, but security forces are committed to enforce the law and to arrest Qaisari and his men as soon as possible” Balkh police said in a statement.

In the hours long clashes both sides exchanged small arm fires while the illegal commander’s men even fired RPG rockets against the security forces and inflicted damage to some buildings, but there are still no reports of any casualties.

Zabihullah Kakar, a Provincial Council member said they have received several complaints from the citizens against Qaisari and his men in recent months, accusing him of illegal doings.

“Qaisari and his men are accused by citizens of land and shops grabbing, extortions, beatings of citizens and other types of illegal doings in the city,” the official said.

Qaisari, who is from Uzbek ethnic and had been former ally of Uzbek leader, and 1st Vice President, Abdul Rashid Dostum, has become a controversial figure in recent years for his illegal doings in northern Afghanistan.

As siege on Qaisari’s home in Mazar nears 24 hours, with heavy battles involving RPGs and helicopter gunships, this could potentially turnout more embarrassing — we have suggestions Qaisari has actually fled. No confirmation; but at least 2 sources suggesting he’s not at the scene, New York Times reporter Mujib Mashal said in a tweet message.

The fighting has stopped for a while now and police Special Forces — who’ve been in the lead on the ground, though army corps commander was also more involved in the afternoon — are searching the buildings. At least 8 of Qaisari’s men surrendered. No sign of Qaisari yet, he added.

Balkh police chief Gen. Fayez says they are inside the large garden surrounding the Qaisari houses; pressing on to find him. At least 8 dead bodies of Qaisari’s men seen in the garden, Mashal tweeted.

He was arrested by security forces for the same charges in northern Faryab province in July 2018 in a controversial arrest, in which several of his guards were also arrested and some were injured. His arrest was widely criticized by his fellow Uzbeks and led to several violent protests in northern Afghanistan and kept dozens of public offices for several days shut in several northern cities.

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