KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan official says residents in a northern city are on a daylong strike to protest the appointment of a new provincial police chief over the objections of a former governor and powerful warlord.

The incumbent provincial police chief, Gen. Akram Sammeh, says his replacement, Abdul Raqib Mubarez, landed at the airport in Mazar-e-Sharif on Thursday but the police are blocking him from heading into the city to take up his post.

The development threatens to escalate into an all-out feud between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Atta Mohammed Nur, a powerful warlord who holds sway over Balkh province where Mazar-e-Sharif is the provincial capital.

Nur called for the city-wide shutdown and is demanding Ghani withdraw Mubarez's appointment and instead name Nur's choice for the post, as Ghani allegedly promised.

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