It was the first confirmed report of deadly Taliban infighting after an announcement last month that Mullah Omar had been dead for more than two years.
The guards have been tasked to protect the 18-year-old rights activist because spy chiefs warn that threats against her have been growing, The Sun reported.
Sultan Faizy, who is Dostum’s spokesman, says the ambush happened on Friday afternoon in northern Faryab province as the convoy was driving through Qaysar district.
Zawahiri pledged to Mullah Akhtar Mansour to ‘implement sharia law’ and to continue ‘jihad until every part of occupied Muslim land is free.’
The attack on the army-run school in Peshawar, in which nearly all the victims were schoolchildren, shocked Pakistanis and led the country to lift a moratorium on executions in place since 2008.
The video, apparently shot in Afghanistan’s restive east against the backdrop of hilly grasslands describes the prisoners as “apostates” aligned with the Taliban or the Afghan govt.
The well-choreographed video was purportedly shot in an unknown location in Afghanistan amid fluttering IS flags and shows militants with black face masks digging up earth and placing explosives.
The statement is a sharp attack on Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, who was controversially picked to replace Mullah Omar after the organisation announced the jihadist leaders’ death last month.
Irek Hamidullin showed no expression as guilty verdicts were read on all 15 counts, including providing material support to terrorism, attempting to destroy U.S. aircraft and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Underscoring the deepening internal divisions, Tayeb Agha stepped down as head of the Taliban’s political office, set up in Qatar in 2013 to facilitate peace talks, according to a statement.
Even if Pakistan succeeds in getting the new Taliban leadership to the table, there will be enough Afghan elements to challenge the terms.
Fledgling peace talks between the Taliban and the government halted last week when officials announced Taliban figurehead Mullah Mohammad Omar had died in April 2013.
For India, the elevation of Mansour as Mullah Omar’s successor in the Taliban has resurrected dark memories of the hijacking.
There is a view that the post-Omar situation in the Taliban — especially if the divisions within grow sharper — might provide an opening that New Delhi could use to engage with independent-minded factions.
The two told The Associated Press that the Taliban Shura, or Supreme Council, has chosen Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as the new leader.