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Afghan government minister killed in Herat


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Mirwais Sadiq participates in a ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August 2002.

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KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghanistan's civil aviation minister was killed Sunday after an assassination attempt against his father -- warlord Ismail Khan -- sparked fighting between Khan's supporters and government troops in the northwestern city of Herat, a government spokesman said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Omar Samad said Aviation Minister Mirwais Sadiq was leading an attack on government forces when he was killed.

Afghanistan's government was sending additional troops to the region to bring an end to the clashes, Samad told CNN.

Khan, the provincial governor, survived the assassination attempt, he said.

"Mirwais Sadiq was in Herat," Samad said. "He was leading some forces against an Afghan army post and in the clashes that ensued he was killed."

"There are other casualties as well. We are still trying to put the pieces together to find out what happened."

Samad said Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with top aides Sunday night to discuss the crisis in Herat.

"There will be an attempt to secure a cease-fire as soon as possible," he said.

An Afghan defense ministry official said the fighting appears to have stemmed from factional rivalries in the province, and was unrelated to attacks by remnants of the Taliban or al Qaeda.

CNN's Ryan Chilcote contributed to this report.


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