IS suicide attack kills 2 senior Taliban in Zabul
QALAT (Pajhwok): Taliban’s governor for southern Zabul province and military chief were killed in a suicide attack carried out by rival militant group Islamic State in Dai Chopan district, sources claimed on Tuesday, but the Taliban rejected the claim.
Zabul provincial council secretary Asadullah Kakar, who is resident of Khak-i-Afghan district, told Pajhwok Afghan News the suicide attack was carried out on Tuesday morning by Uzbek militants affiliated with the self-styled Islamic State group in Solan area, targeting Taliban leaders.
He said the suicide attack left Taliban’s shadow governor for Zabul Matiullah and military commander Pir Agha dead. But another source said Pir Agha had been killed and Matiullah seriously wounded in the attack.
However, a Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi told Pajhwok Afghan News no suicide attack on their governor and military official had been carried out in Zabul.
“We strongly reject the rumours of the martyrdom of Maulvi Matiullah and military commander Pir Agha. They are well and are busy in their jihadi services.”
The provincial council secretary said 14 Uzbek fighters, who were captured by Taliban militants in Solan area of Dai Chopan, had blown themselves up in captivity, but the Taliban escaped unhurt.
Meanwhile, the governor spokesman, Gul Islam Seyal, said Taliban militants had freed five civilians from the clutches of Islamic State fighters and had reunited them with their families.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the civilians rescued were residents of Khak-i-Afghan district and they had recently been abducted by Uzbek Daesh militants.
Two days ago, Daesh gunmen beheaded seven civilians, including four women and a child, in custody, an incident that drew strong condemnation.
Zabul’s deputy police chief Ghulam Jilani Farahi said sporadic clashes continued between Taliban and Daesh militants as of Monday evening in Arghandab and Khak-i-Afghan districts.
Kakar said Daesh militants, who had climbed mountains, had conveyed message to the Taliban through elders that they were ready to leave if granted a safe passage, but there had been response from the Taliban.
Clashes between the rival militant outfits have been ongoing over the past few days and so far 110 gunmen on both sides have been killed and dozens more wounded.
Telephonic services do not work in remote parts of Zabul, making it difficult to verify events from independent sources.
So far the two groups have said nothing about their clashes.
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