Nine dead in clashes among Afghan Taliban militants

Armed clash between Taliban militants leaves several dead after militant group appoints new leader

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Aug 3, 2015

Fighting that broke out between two Taliban factions in north Afghanistan on Sunday left nine dead and eleven wounded.

The clashes followed the death of now former leader Mullah Omar, possibly suggesting that the militant group has been torn with disputes.

Ethnic Uzbek fighters have reportedly clashed with Pashtun groups in Faryab, as the Uzbek group allegedly disobeyed Pashtun orders.

“The fighters belonging to Mullah Hafiz, a Pashtun ethnic commander, and the Taliban’s Uzbek ethnic deputy shadow governor Mullah Abdul Samad have clashed after the Uzbek fighters rejected Mullah Hafiz’s orders,” said one official.

Following the death of Mullah Omar, which was announced on Wednesday, Mullah Akhtar Mansour was appointed as the group’s new leader. His leadership was opposed by some factions of the group.

Disunity has already emerged within the armed militant group following Omar’s death.

The group’s spokesman however, denied the allegations that there were internal disputes.

Mullah Akhtar Mansour, had released an audio message on Saturday calling on the factions of the militant group to maintain their unity in their fight against the Western-backed Afghan government.

Mansour, who is said to be in favour of the Taliban’s peace talks with the Afghan government, is expected to push for the continuation of talks into a second round, after the first round of talks were completed early July.

However, the Taliban denied reports that a second round of talks were being planned to be held in Pakistan or China, with Mansour himself saying in the 30-minute audio that the talks are "propaganda campaigns by the enemy."

TRTWorld and agencies