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Afghan Taliban concerned over killing of commander near Quetta

By our correspondents
January 10, 2016

PESHAWAR: The assassination of a known Afghan Taliban commander Mulla Mohammad Alam in Balochistan has caused concern among the Taliban and their families.

Mulla Alam, who was loyal to the new Afghan Taliban head Mulla Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Kuchlak near Quetta on January 7. The Taliban subsequently confirmed his death.

Some Taliban officials blamed the Afghan intelligence agency, NDS, for the murder. Others felt the dissident Taliban group may be involved in the killing.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The deceased had taken part in the fighting against the dissident Taliban commander, Mansoor Dadullah, in Zabul province recently. Mansoor Dadullah and his elder brother Moula Dada aka Haji Lala were killed in the fighting.

A number of their Uzbek allies from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)  who had pledged allegiance to the militant group Islamic State, or Daesh, were also killed or had to surrender during the fighting in Zabul with Mulla Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor’s fighters.

There was speculation among Taliban circles that Mansoor Dadullah’s men could have killed Mulla Mohammad Alam to avenge his death.

In the last few years, a number of senior Taliban figures have been assassinated in Balochistan.

Taliban routinely blame the Afghan intelligence agency, NDS, for these killings. Taliban also once got hold of five Afghans in Balochistan and got confession from them that they were sent by the NDS to assassinate Taliban leaders. The five Afghans were later executed by the Afghan Taliban.