Infighting kills Taliban shadow district governor in Herat province
Minutes after a dispute emerged between Taliban commanders over the distribution of funds they had recently obtained by taxing local residents, Taliban militants turned their guns on each other. When the smoke cleared, four Taliban members, including two commanders, lay dead, while at least three others were wounded. The clash, which occurred in Loka Sang village in the unstable Obe district in Herat, resulted in the death of Maulvi Abdul Karim, the shadow district governor, and Mullah Imatullah, the military commander for Obe, according to a village elder who spoke to Pajhwok Afghan News.
Two Afghan government officials confirmed the clash to Khaama Press, and they stressed that no civilians or Afghan security forces were wounded or killed in the skirmish.
Taliban infighting across the country, including a high-profile incident in Parwan, has recently killed numerous fighters and commanders. Some of these incidents have spilled over the border into Pakistan, namely near the southern city of Quetta. Tension remains high among the increasingly divided Taliban movement, which is struggling to retain cohesion in light of political and ideological differences over negotiations with the Afghan government and its Western allies, as well as more immediate local concerns, such as the distribution and acquisition of funds, the targeting and killing of civilians, accusations of corruption and abuse among Taliban leadership, and other various personal and tribal differences among local Taliban fronts and their leaders.
For previous coverage of Taliban infighting, see LWJ report, Taliban leader confirms infighting and vows revenge, plots to kill Quetta Shura leadership, and LWJ report, Recent Taliban attacks show increased targeting of civilians.