Taliban district shadow governor arrested in Herat; infighting prompts Taliban defections
Mullah Abdul Wahed Nazari and his men attend a ceremony welcoming their decision to join the peace process with the Afghan government, July 12, 2012. Photo: Pajhwok News.
Mullah Mohammad, the Taliban-appointed shadow governor for Injil district in Herat province, was captured today during a joint Afghan and Coalition operation, according to local officials who spoke with TOLOnews.
News of Mohammad's arrest follows the surrender of Mullah Abdul Wahed Nazari, the Taliban's tax collector and military commission member for Gulran, Kishk-i-Kohna, and Rabat Sangi districts, along with 16 of his fighters on July 12. Afghan officials noted that Nazari and his men had been involved with the insurgency for the past eight years.
Nazari and his men decided to surrender to the government following the deadly July 6 clash between Taliban commanders that left four dead, including Maulvi Abdul Karim, the shadow governor for Obe district, and Mullah Imatullah, the military commander for Obe.
"There were issues among us - people were killed unfairly - so we dissented and joined the government," Nazari told TOLOnews. He and his men turned in small and medium arms and more than 500 kilograms of explosives to the National Security Directorate in Herat.
In a related development, a Taliban group led by Mullah Abdul Razzaq surrendered to authorities in Herat on July 14 along with 20 of his armed fighters. Razzaq and his men turned in small arms, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades, and some communications equipment to Afghan officials during a ceremony in the Pashtun Zarghoon district. Afghan authorities have documented that 632 insurgent fighters have joined the peace process in Herat province since the creation of the High Peace Council, according to Pajhwok Afghan News.