Defeated Afghan tribal forces loyal to warlord Padshah Khan are preparing to launch a counter-attack on the eastern town of Gardez, in a bid to oust tribal rivals who seized the town earlier this week in a bitter two-day battle.
The power struggle for Gardez involves troops loyal to Mr. Khan -- the Afghan interim government's newly-appointed governor -- and the Gardez city council -- which opposes him, but has expressed loyalty to the interim Afghan government.
The council has accused Mr. Khan of providing false information to U-S forces, which led to U-S airstrikes on a convoy in December that killed dozens of people. The U-S military has never released results of an investigation of the incident after claims that innocent civilians may have been mistakenly targeted.
Mr. Khan's brother, Wazir Khan, today (Saturday) told the Associated Press that 10 truckloads of weapons and ammunition had been sent to the warlord's men in the hills outside of Gardez, and that fighting could resume as early as Sunday.
Two days of heavy fighting earlier this week left at least 50 people dead and represented the worst fighting in Afghanistan since the ousting of the Taleban.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan's interim leader Hamid Karzai has returned home from a week-long trip to the United States and Britain. During his trip, he urged the international community to deploy more multinational security troops to more cities in Afghanistan and extend their mandate.
Also, the U-S military has started an investigation into whether a raid on al-Qaida terrorist network hideouts north of Kandahar in January mistakenly killed people loyal to the new government. The United States originally said that all 15 people killed and 27 captured were al-Qaida or Taleban fighters.