Taliban faces internal battles in northern province

Taliban faces internal battles in northern province

Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets of a provincial capital on Thursday to protest against the Taliban’s arrest of a local commander from the Uzbek ethnic minority.

Uzbek Taliban fighters demonstrated in Maimana, in the northern province of Faryab, after an Uzbek Taliban commander named Makhdom Alam, also the police chief of Faryab, was sacked.

“He was accused of kidnapping three women in Mazar-e-Sharif city. The Taliban fired him in response which angered the Uzbek Taliban fighters who started the protest”, a local reporter from Maimana city told The National, on condition of anonymity.

Mr Alam was the Taliban’s shadow governor for Faryab province for many years during their battles with the previous governments. According to the BBC, Mr Alam was arrested in Balkh province on the orders of the Taliban’s Deputy Minister of Defence, Mullah Fazil.

“The protesters I talked to are saying he is innocent and he was fired because he is from the Uzbek ethnicity, and the Taliban are discriminating against them,” the reporter said, adding that the protests surrounded the Governor’s office.

A witness said that several Taliban commanders of Pashtun ethnicity were disarmed.

Read full report on The National