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Taliban district shadow governor arrested in Herat; infighting prompts Taliban defections



Mullah Abdul Wahed Nazari.jpg

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.



READER COMMENTS: "Taliban district shadow governor arrested in Herat; infighting prompts Taliban defections "

Posted by g at July 16, 2012 4:07 PM ET:

"People were killed unfairly", as opposed to the usual Taliban killings which are fair?

These defectors sound like a bunch of wussies worried that they are next.

Posted by Neonmeat at July 17, 2012 8:26 AM ET:

Bill are these the first significant 'defections' to the Government? Do you think this is a sign of things to come or perhaps just a reaction by these men to the Taliban infighting?

I would say this is good news at it shows that The Taliban can be turned to the Govs side but then hearing some of the stuff Karzai comes out with I suspect that their views and that of the Administration are not as far apart as we might hope.

Posted by Charles at July 17, 2012 3:20 PM ET:

The problem with this story is that the afghan government can't possibly protect them. Because the government can't possibly protect these people--this means that in their districts -- there is no one they need be afraid of. Makes sense. Herat is in the west. No Pashtuns there. They are nearly beyond Pakistan's reach. Iran might filter AQ into the province but they would not be home boys. So any AQ filtered from Iran would stick out to the locals as much as Americans. ie they would be seen from miles away--and therefor very vulnerable.

Posted by Anonymous at July 17, 2012 4:54 PM ET:

I see it as something natural

- They have poor and coward bosses that rule from Pakistan or safe heavens
- They are tired and not winning even if they are nor clearly loosing.
- They are short of money and they can't even use their own money to pay their soldiers.

They do not need to be wussies. May be they they forgot to do the daily brainwash and began to think by themselves.

100 Taliban defected in one day. Good news.