KABUL: Militia forces loyal to the Afghan vice president, the former warlord Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, fought a gun battle with a group of northern Tajik demonstrators in the heart of Kabul yesterday, leaving at least one person dead.

The standoff continued late into Thursday night. Elite government security forces were deployed at the scene to control armed men from both sides, with some officers saying they had moved to disarm General Dostum’s forces, composed mostly of ethnic Uzbeks.

President Ashraf Ghani called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council, officials said, which General Dostum did not attend. Western diplomats were trying to intervene to calm the situation.

The clashes began yesterday afternoon after devotees of Habibullah Kalakani, a fundamentalist Tajik insurgent who briefly seized the Afghan throne in 1929, wanted to rebury him with honors on Kabul’s Shahrara Hill.

Mr. Kalakani, known as the Bandit King, was deposed after nine months and killed by a firing squad. Some say he was treated unfairly by a despotic dynasty of ethnic Pashtuns who retained power.

General Dostum’s supporters, who claim the hill that the demonstrators chose in Kabul has historic value to their Uzbek tribe, clashed with men who were trying to dig graves on Wednesday night for Mr. Kalakani and his executed retinue.

When the Tajik demonstrators, insisting that it was a matter of honor to go ahead with the burial plan, arrived with the bodies at the foot of the hill, armed clashes broke out. At least one of Mr. Dostum’s men was killed, a spokesman said, and several other men from each side were wounded.

In a cell phone video taken in his home, General Dostum is evidenced telling supporters that he cannot tolerate the demonstrators’ demands.