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    Infighting among militants in Maidan Wardak

    MAIDAN SHAR (PAN):  A clash between Taliban fighters and the Hizb-e-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) party led by Gulbaddin Hikmatyar erupted in the central province of Maidan Wardak, people said on Saturday.

    The clash began on Friday in the Tokrak area of Narkh district. Both sides claimed inflicting casualties on each other, but as of 10 am, the governor’s spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, confirmed only that two HIA fighters had been killed during the ongoing clash.

    A local Taliban commander, Rahimullah, said four HIA fighters were killed, and no one was injured among the Taliban rebels. He told Pajhwok Afghan News that they are fighting because the HIA is assisting government and US troops. He claimed that the HIA is serving as the government’s militia.

    But an HIA local commander, who asked to remain anonymous, in turn blamed some Taliban fighters for spying on behalf of US forces.

    He confirmed the deaths of two HIA fighters, but claimed that five Taliban were killed and three wounded in the clash.

    Fighting broke out after the Taliban detained and killed an HIA fighter, according to a resident of the district, Shamsullah.

    myn/at