Kabul – Afghanistan officials report on Monday in Kabul that the three days of clashes between Taliban groups in southern Afghanistan have left at least 60 fighters dead.
They said this was as a result of the major battle between rival factions over the leadership of the militant group.
They said the two factions had pledged allegiance to different leaders following the death of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Haji Asadullah Kakar, a Provincial Council Member from Zabul, noted that in spite of some opposition in July, shortly after Omar’s death was made public, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, was appointed the new leader.
He said his followers in the southern province of Zabul were fighting a breakaway faction of Taliban commanders who had elected, Mullah Mohammad Rasool, as their supreme leader.
Kakar said Rasool was appointed about six days ago.
Gul Sial, Spokesman for the Governor of Zabul, said the splinter group, now led by Mullah Rasool, had gotten the help of the Islamic State to battle the other faction.
He said the fighting was taking place across at least three districts.
The spokesman said Mansoor’s appointment initially caused a rift within the Afghan Taliban, with Omar’s family refusing to pledge allegiance to him.
He said the split was said to have been resolved in September, after the family vow loyalty to Mansoor. (dpa/NAN)