Afghanistan’s first deputy speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) Zahir Qadir on Monday said that Mullah Omar’s son, Mullah Yaqub, was killed last week in Quetta, Pakistan.
According to him, Mullah Yaqub, who had hoped to succeed his father as leader of the Taliban, was killed while at a meeting in the city four days ago (Thursday).
“We were told about Mullah Omar’s death two years back and now his son Mullah Yaqub who was 21 or 22 years old was trying to be appointed as his father’s successor. But Mullah Mansour also tried to become leader of the Taliban, therefore it is said that he was killed some days back,” Qadir told TOLOnews.
“The opposing Taliban and Pakistan had a hand in killing Mullah Yaqub. The reality will be made clear soon,” he said.
In addition to this, Afghan security sources told TOLOnews late Monday that in the past 24 hours three clashes between Taliban factions have been reported in Quetta city in Pakistan.
One attack was on a convoy transporting newly appointed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s deputy, the source said.
A source said that Maulvi Haibatullah Noorzai, Mullah Mansour’s deputy, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on his convoy by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.
The source wishing anonymity said that former Nangarhar governor and Taliban head of the central committee, Maulvi Abdul Kabir, was also in the convoy.
Unidentified persons mounted the attack on the convoy on the outskirts of Chaman area in Pakistan, the source said, adding Haibatullah and Maulvi Abdul Kabir escaped unhurt but three other Taliban leaders were wounded in the attack.
The top Taliban leaders were in the locality to garner support for Mullah Mansour from local clerics when they came under attack.
Chaman is the hometown of Mullah Abdul Razzaq who has opposed Mullah Mansour’s nomination as Taliban leader. Mullah Mansour has been appointed as Mullah Omar’s successor.
Two other attacks also occurred between Taliban factions in the past two days. Both were carried out on houses in Quetta city but it is unclear who the residents are or whether any casualties were reported.
The news of Mullah Yaqub’s death however comes just days after he and his uncle Abdul Manan, Mullah Omar’s younger brother, were reportedly among more than a dozen Taliban figures who walked out of Wednesday’s leadership meeting held in Quetta.
It was at this meeting that the Taliban named Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour as the group’s new leader.
Reuters reported that the display of dissent within the group’s secretive core is the clearest sign yet of the challenge Mansour faces in uniting a group already split over whether to pursue peace talks with the Afghan government and facing a new, external threat, Islamic State.
Rifts in the Taliban leadership could widen after confirmation of the death of Mullah Omar.
Mansour, Mullah Omar’s longtime deputy who has been effectively in charge for years, favors talks to bring an end to more than 13 years of war. He recently sent a delegation to inaugural meetings with Afghan officials hosted by Pakistan, hailed as a breakthrough.
But Mansour, 50, has powerful rivals within the Taliban who oppose negotiations and have been pushing for Mullah Omar’s son Yaqub to take over the movement.
“Actually, it wasn’t a Taliban Leadership Council meeting. Mansour had invited only members of his group to pave the way for his election,” said one of the sources, a senior member of Taliban in Quetta. “And when Yaqub and Manan noticed this, they left the meeting.”
Among those opposing Mansour’s leadership are Mullah Mohammad Rasool and Mullah Hasan Rahmani, two influential Taliban figures with their own power bases who back Yaqub.
News courtesy: Tolo News
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