Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, a senior Taliban commander and one of the opponents of new Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, has been killed in a clash in southern Afghanistan, officials said on Thursday.
“Mansoor Dadullah was killed early Thursday,” the former Taliban leader told The Express Tribune from Afghanistan.
Further Tolo News quoting officials said, “Mullah Mansour Dadullah – deputy leader of the new breakaway Taliban group – killed in clashes in Zabul.”
However, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid could not be reached for comment. The dissident group has also not commented on the reports.
Fierce clashes were ongoing between two rival Taliban groups in southern Afghanistan. Skirmishes have been taking place in southern Zabul province between fighters loyal to the widely-recognised Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour and followers of Mansoor Dadullah, a deputy of splinter-group leader Mohamed Rasool who announced his own faction earlier this month.
Dadullah, the brother of a top Taliban military commander, Mullah Dadullah Akhund, had rejected Akhtar Mansoor as the new leader and even claimed that Mullah Omar had not died of natural causes but was killed. He now leads ‘Dadullah Mahaz’ and is based in Zabul province.
A dissident Taliban leader told The Express Tribune that Akhtar Mansoor’s rivals had met at Zabul to finalise the name of their leader. Mansoor Dadullah had hosted them at his military base, he said.
Mullah Mansoor Dadullah led Dadullah Mahaz and operated from Zabul province.