Mansoor Dadullah, Deputy Chief of the rival group, came under Taliban attack in Deo Chopan district, however, he escaped unhurt in the fighting, Abdul Manan Niazi, deputy on political affairs of the group “High Council of the Islamic Emirate” told The Express Tribune by telephone from Herat province.
Dadullah is considered the most influential among the Taliban dissidents, and had rejected Akhtar Mansoor as the Taliban’s new chief and had alleged that Mullah Omar had not died of natural causes but might have been killed.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he is unaware of any fighting while Niazi said the Taliban attacked Dadullah’s base in the area.
“Our people pushed the attackers back and arrested some of them,” the dissident leader said, adding that fighters of Akhtar Mansoor had spread rumours that Dai’sh fighters were present in the area.
There was no report of casualties as the area is remote and details of the fighting could take time.
The fighting broke out after the dissidents elected Mohammad Rasool as their chief in the first ever division within the Taliban since Mullah Omar had started the movement in 1994.
A former Taliban minister, who is impartial in the on-going internal rift, told The Express Tribune that there are serious concerns about the Taliban infighting after the split.
“Some Taliban leaders are making efforts to work for an agreement to avoid clashes despite differences,” the Taliban leader said. He requested not to be identified by name.