Dadullah besieged in Zabul as Taliban cracks widen
KABUL (Pajhwok): Some Taliban sources on Wednesday said supporters of the group’s new supreme leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour had besieged a senior Taliban military commander Mullah Mansour Dadullah in Khak Afghan district of southern Zabul province.
The sources said differences between supporters of the two intensified after Dadullah refused to pledge allegiance to Mansour as the Taliban’s new leader to succeed the late founder and longtime chief Mullah Mohammad Omar.
After Omar’s death, the Taliban leadership council elected Mullah Mansour as the new leader, but Omar’s family and a number of supporters opposed the election.
Some reports say supporters of Mansour and Dadullah have fought several clashes over the leadership issue in Khak Afghan district during the past one week.
Mansour reportedly sent a delegation to Dadullah asking him to pledge allegiance to the new supreme leader, but Dadullah refused.
A commander of Dadullah’s group, who wished to go unnamed, told Pajhwok Afghan News a number of their leaders, including Mullah Mansour Dadullah, had been besieged by the opponents over the past few days.
He said Mansour sent his governor for Zabul province Mullah Matiullah, his provincial military chief Meer Aga, commanders Mullah Abdul Ghani, Burhani, Hanafi and Aminullah accompanied by a large number of fighters to Khak Afghan district who surrounded Mullah Dadullah.
“We don’t want to fight because it would shed the blood of Muslims. They want Dadullah to pledge allegiance to Mansoor, but Dadullah rejects it and says Mansour was announced the leader in a coup.”
He asked the hundreds of mullahs, who had gathered in Pakistan’s Quetta to resolve differences within the Taliban, to at least mediate the Khak Afghan issue.
Around 1,000 pro-Taliban religious leaders have gathered in Quetta City since two weeks to resolve differences between Taliban leaders, but have so far been unsuccessful.
Gen. Daud Shah Wafadar, the 205th Atal Military Corps commander in southern Kandahar province, also said differences within the Taliban had intensified.
He added some regional intelligence agencies were trying to resolve disputes among the Taliban factions.
Few days ago, Taliban in a statement rejected reports about differences among their leaders in Zabul province as propaganda.
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