56 killed in Afghanistan rival factions clash

Kubal, Nov 9 (IANS) Fifty-six militants were killed in a clash between supporters and opponents of new Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor in parts of Zabul province over the past three days, provincial government spokesman Gul Islam Sayal said on Monday.

“Clashes erupted between supporters of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor and his opponents led by Mullah Mansoor Dadullah in Khak-e-Afghan and Arghandab districts on Saturday, leaving 56 insurgents from both sides dead and 53 others injured,” Xinhua quoted Sayal as saying.

According to the official, 47 of those killed in the clash were loyal to Mansoor Dadullah and the remaining nine to Mansoor.

This is the first time that a clash erupted among Taliban militants since the confirmation of the death of Taliban former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in late July.

Taliban militants loyal to Mansoor have yet to make comment on the conflict.

However, Abdul Manan Niazi, who claims to speak for Mansoor Dadullah’s camp in contact with media said Akhtar Mansoor’s supporters attacked Dadullah’s positions triggering the fighting.

Meanwhile, spokesman for Zabul provincial government, Sayal said the clash between warring sides ceased on Monday but both sides are on alert and strengthening their positions.

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