Around 80 militants have been killed and 30 others injured in fierce clashes between two rival Taliban groups in the troubled southern Afghanistan, security sources say.
Ghulam Jilani Farahi, the deputy police chief for the southern Zabul Province said on Sunday that the skirmish took place between fighters loyal to widely-recognized Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour and the followers of Mansoor Dadullah in the troubled region.
“The fighting started from early Saturday morning in Khak-i-Afghan and Arghandab districts of Zabul Province. About 60 fighters of Mullah Dadullah and 20 of Akhtar Mansour have been killed,” Farahi said.
Meanwhile, Islam Gul Seyal, the provincial governor’s spokesman, has said that fighting is still going on in the province.
The Taliban group has seen a string of defections in recent months following the news of the death of Mullah Omar, the former leader of the Afghan Taliban. Taliban said they had hid the news of his death for two years, as they had not wanted to make it public until foreign forces would have ended their fight against the militants in Afghanistan.
Just last week, a number of Taliban militants took issue with Mullah Mansour, forming a splinter group and picking another leader, Mullah Mohammad Rasoul, for themselves.
Meanwhile, the Takfiri Daesh militants have also been making inroads in Afghanistan. A series of violent clashes between the rival militant groups has been reported across Afghanistan over the past weeks.
The Daesh militant group is also using a sophisticated social media campaign to woo local Taliban militants.
In this photo taken on May 3, 2015, Afghan National Army soldiers prepare to fire during a battle with Taliban militants in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan. (Photo by AFP)
Foreign troops and Afghan forces have failed to maintain security across Afghanistan 14 years after the United States and its NATO allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.
Militants continue to slaughter Shia Muslims
In a separate development on Sunday, the beheaded bodies of seven Shia Muslims belonging to the Hazara community who were kidnapped last month from neighboring Ghazni Province by gunmen were found in Zabul.
“The seven Hazara bodies – three women and four men – all have been beheaded and were brought by tribal elders to a hospital in Shah Joy district,” Jawad Waziri, the district governor for Shah Joy of Zabul Province, said.
Hazara Shia Muslims have often been targeted by militant groups in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.