Faizy says there was an argument, followed by shooting that wounded Mansoor and killed six Taliban figures, including Sarhadi. “He was rushed to hospital and we are not sure if he survived his wounds”, Sultan Faizi, the spokesman for the Afghan first vice president, told AFP.
Mansour assumed leadership of the Taliban on July 31 – despite the objections of some group members – following the announcement of the death of group founder Mullah Mohamed Omar.
The development comes amid a renewed regional push to jumpstart peace talks with the Taliban, which stalled after the militants belatedly confirmed longtime leader Mullah Omar’s death in late July.
Some senior Taliban leaders had been suspicious of Mullah Mansour’s support for peace talks hosted by neighbouring Pakistan, and accused pro-Pakistani circles of installing him as the new leader.
Faizi said the incident took place in Kechlaqh, a locality on the outskirts of Quetta city of Pakistan.
However all the sources agreed the meeting was at the home of Abdullah Sarhadi, a commander in Mansour’s group.
A number of senior Taliban commanders refused to pledge allegiance to him and a faction opposed to him was set up last month under Mullah Mohammad Rasool.
“During the discussion, some senior people developed differences and they opened fire at each other”, a senior Taliban commander said. “This is totally baseless”, Zabihullah Mujahid said.
His account was confirmed by another Afghan Taliban source.
His killing would remove a major rival to the Taliban’s new leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, who has presided over major insurgent offensives this year even while fighting to consolidate his power and address a new threat by fighters who have declared loyalty to the Islamic State.