Clashes between ethnic Pashtun and Tajik commanders over the control of the Shindand district in western Afghanistan have left at least 12 people dead and scores wounded.
A local Pashtun commander says the fighting erupted after the powerful governor of Herat province, Tajik warlord Ismail Khan, sent forces to attack Pashtun forces near Shindand in neighboring Farah province. The commander said seven Tajik and five Pashtun soldiers had been killed so far, with dozens more wounded on both sides.
Both the Tajik forces and local Pashtun commanders claim control over Shindand, home to the country's second-largest air base.
Farah province is dominated by the Pashtuns. Ismail Khan, the Tajik warlord, recently returned to lead the Herat region after the fall of the Pashtun-dominated Taleban regime.