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Rivalry among Influential Empowers Taliban

Rivalry among Influential Empowers Taliban

MAIMANA – Serious differences among some powerful individuals have paved the ground for militants to expand their activities in Kohistan district of northwester Faryab province, an official said. With a population of 20,000 individuals, Kohistan is 127 kilometers south of Maimana, the provincial capital.
The district chief, Imamyar Taqwa, said two polling centres had been shut during the April 5 elections in Kohistan as a result of political and tribal differences among some influential figures. There has been an old dispute between supporters of a provincial council member Mohibullah Mirzad and his rivals Mohammadullah Hamkar, Ibadullah, Haji Yaqub and Maulvi Ghaibullah. So far many people have been killed and injured as a result, Taqwa told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Mirzad has long been accusing his opponents of supporting militants but his rivals accuse him of absolutism, a situation that has enabled militants to tighten their grip on some areas of the district. Mirzad denied the district chief’s claims and said a former Taliban education department director, Gheyasuddin, and his accomplices had surrounded a police post and had blocked supplies of needed materials to it.
He warned the post could be overrun by the insurgents if the government failed to assist the trapped security men. A civil society activist Ghulam Jilani Kohistani said differences among rival groups had empowered militants to increase their influence in the area. He said one person was recently killed and two others were wounded in a clash between rival groups.
Kohistani said some tribal elders and civil society groups had jointly launched efforts to address differences among powerful individuals. A police commander, Syed Mohammad, who escaped from militants surrounding the police post, said if security organs did not take action to rescue the trapped policemen, they could surrender to the militants. But provincial police chief Brig. Gen. Tooryalai Abdyani said there was no security problem in Kohistan and differences among some individuals had been resolved. (Pajhwok)

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