Rival Taliban factions clash in Afghanistan

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Kabul (dpa) – Intense fighting between Taliban insurgents loyal to rival leaders has broke out in western Afghanistan Herat province, according to government officials.

The fighting left seven fighters dead and six others wounded initially, in Shindand district of Herat province. Prisoners were reportedly taken by both sides.

“So far, Mullah Mansoor’s commander, Mullah Esmat, has lost seven people and six are believed to be wounded, there are also reports that some fighters have been taken hostages,” district police chief General Majeed Rozi said.

The local Taliban commanders used to fight NATO and Afghan forces, but “after the big split among the Taliban leadership, the two started to fight each other on the orders of their senior commanders,” he said.

Rozi said both sides had asked for reinforcements and more supplies.

After the mysterious death of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, rival factions have emerged.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor was selected to succeed Omar by the Taliban council on July 29.

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