[Top Afghan Taliban commander, Mulla Mohammad Alam, Mullah Mansour’s top aid, was reportedly killed in the same Balochistan town where Mansour was also reported to have been killed in an “incident following a verbal dispute at a meeting of militant commanders in the Kuchlak area of Balochistan.” He was reportedly killed in a firefight with Mullah Mansour Dadullah, whose fate is also uncertain afterwards, since he was also reported killed in a fight in Kulgharan, Zabul, which he promptly denied.]
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.