Death toll from Taliban infighting in Herat climbs to 100
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): The death toll from clashes entering a third day on Wednesday between two rival Taliban factions in the Shindand district of western Herat province has climbed to at least 100, local officials said.
Herat officials on Tuesday said 30 militants had been killed on both sides after the clashes between fighters loyal to Taliban supreme leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour and a splinter group leader Mullah Mohammad Rasool broke out early on Monday in various areas of the Shindand district.
Jailani Farhad, the Herat governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the clashes between Mullah Sammad aligned to Mansour and Mullah Nangialai loyal to Rasool had so far left at least 100 dead and the clashes were still ongoing.
Farhad said Mullah Nangialai lost 60 fighters and Mullah Sammad 40 and scores of others had been injured but their exact number was not yet known.
He said the Afghan forces also engaged the fighting militants and attacked them with mortar shells which caused casualties to a number of insurgents.
Meanwhile, Gen. Akhtar Mohammad Hamdam, the Zafar Military Corps first brigade commander, said the clashes between the two groups were underway in Ghodal, Karima Khana, Qala Kanjak and Parmakan villages of Shindand district.
“The casualties could be very high, but exact figures are not available because the clashes are still ongoing,” he said.
Hamdam said around 200 more fighters had arrived in Shindand from other provinces including Helmand, Nimroz and Farah to reinforce their respective comrades, and put the total number of militants engaged in the showdown at 400.
He said security in Shindand had been ensured and the two groups could not attack the district center as Afghan forces were watching the situation.
Shindand district, where militants are more active than other districts of Herat, is 12 kilometers from Herat city.
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