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Taliban commander killed in Baluchistan

Mahaz-e-Fidae avenges Mullah Dadullah

 At Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Unknown armed men have shot dead a Taliban commander loyal to Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in Baluchistan, said the militants on Friday.

Some Taliban leaders who wished anonymity told the Express Tribune that Maulvi Muhammad Alam, a loyal commander to Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor, was killed the other day by unidentified gunmen in Kuchlak area near Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan.

“I can confirm that Maulvi Muhammad Alam has been killed. Investigations are underway but we do not have details as to who is behind the incident,” a Taliban leader, aware of the incident, said.

Mahaz-e-Fidae, a Taliban faction against Mullah Mansoor, has claimed responsibility for the killing in a text message sent to media.

Mahaz-e-Fidae is led by Haji Najibullah, who is a prominent Taliban commander and close friend of Mullah Mansoor Dadullah. Mansoor Dadullah was killed in Khak-e-Afghan district of Zabul province in November 2015 by the Akhtar Mansoor-led Taliban faction. Mansoor Dadullah had refused Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as a new supreme leader of the Taliban and split from the group along with his loyal fighters.

It is clear that Alam was killed by the loyalists of Dadullah to take revenge.

Alam was in charge of special operations and sheltered a number of foreign fighters. He was responsible for killing of Dadullah. It is believed that Mullah Mansoor has also been killed by Dadullah’s fighters in Quetta, though the Taliban released an audio tape of their controversial supreme leader. However, credibility of the audio tape is still under question.

Hundreds of thousands of militants and sympathizers attended funeral prayer of Alam in Quetta city on Friday under the very nose of Pakistani military and civilian establishments which claimed that they would not allow Pakistan’s soil to be used against Afghanistan.

It is pertinent to mention that on the first day of the New Year, the two factions within Taliban have agreed to a ceasefire and prisoners exchange. The leaders of the two rival groups met in Quetta city of Baluchistan.

According to Aljazeera, the representatives of a splinter group headed by Mullah Mohammad Rasool Akhund, calling itself ulema, met with the senior Taliban leaders loyal to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour in Quetta on Friday.

The deal comes after the two sides had suffered heavy casualties during recent Taliban-on-Taliban fighting in Afghanistan.

Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, Muhammad Rasool Akhund’s deputy, told Reuters by telephone that they had no access to meet Mullah Mansour.

Niazi said the delegation was only able to meet Mansour’s deputy, Haibatullah Akhund, who told them that their supreme leader Mullah Mansour would not meet people because of security threats.

Niazi believes that Mullah Manour is dead; therefore, the representatives were not able to meet him.

“Like many other people, we also believe that Mullah Mansour is dead and that’s why his deputy ‎Sheikh Haibatullah refused access to the ulema council to him,” Niazi told Reuters.

Leadership of the Taliban has been in dispute since the confirmation of the death of the founder father of Taliban group, Mullah Omar.

 

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