London, Apr.23 (ANI): Two senior Taleban military commanders are locked in a bitter power struggle, which insiders claim has split the insurgents' leadership council and could lead to violence in parts of southern Afghanistan.
According to The Times, Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir and Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor were both named as the successors to Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taleban's second in command, who was arrested in Pakistan in February?
Mullah Zakir, according to reports at the time, was given responsibility for military operations, while his rival was put in charge of logistics.
District elders in Helmand said that Mullah Mansoor was disappointed not to get his former leader's operational role, referred to as the Taleban's defence minister.ensions are reportedly highest in central Helmand, where British troops are based and where fighters loyal to both men massed before Operation Moshtarak, the US, British and Afghan offensive to clear the insurgents out.
Fighters loyal to Mullah Baradar have been forced to take sides, after his arrest in Karachi.
Both men have supporters in Helmand, but sources said that Mullah Mansoor was trying to flood the province with fighters from his own tribe to wrest control from his rival.
A spokesman for Daoud Ahmadi, Helmand's Governor, said that he was unaware of the rift, while a spokesman for British Forces in Helmand refused to comment directly on it. (ANI)