Taliban disown surrendering shadow governor
A day earlier, officials said that a Taliban shadow governor for northern Kunduz province and 50 of his supporters had surrendered to the authorities in Kandahar.
The surrendering militants were shown to journalists at a ceremony in Kandahar City.
But a Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said the shadow governor, Noor-ul-Aziz, and his loyalists had no links to the movement.
"Aziz must be a government employee or an imposter who poses as a Taliban shadow governor to get money," Ahmadi said in an email to Pajhwok Afghan News. "Our designated governor for Kunduz is in his area."
Ahmadi added: "We believe such dramas are staged by Afghan and foreign intelligence officials to create rifts in Taliban ranks."
Provincial intelligence chief, Gen. Mohammad Naeem Momin, said Aziz --previously the Taliban chief for Nad Ali district in Helmand province -- was recently appointed as Kunduz governor.
He said the group renounced violence after realising that war had been imposed on them. "They decided to quit fighting and return to normal life," he said.
Aziz said he had been loyal to Mullah Dadullah, who was killed in 2007 in Helmand. He served as Taliban chief for Nad Ali and was recently promoted as governor for Kunduz.
"I heard Karzai and other officials talking about the peace process, which encouraged me to quit war, but I have no courage to be part of the government," he said.
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