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Taliban splinter group claims peace envoy killing

Group named after Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah claims peace envoy killing.

An obscure insurgent faction called the Mullah Dadullah Front claimed responsibility for Sunday’s drive-by assassination of Afghan peace envoy Arsala Rahmani. A man named Qari Hamza, claiming to be the group’s spokesperson, sent a text message to Pakistan’s Express Tribune on Monday that read:

“The infidel forces had assigned Arsala (Rahmani) to sell out the mujahideen to non-Muslims, so that the non-Muslims continue their occupation of Afghanistan. We will target and eliminate all such people.”

Hamza took credit shortly after Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid denied involvement in the murder.

The little known front is named after Mullah Dadullah, a dreaded Taliban commander killed in a joint NATO- Afghan raid in Helmand in 2007.

Rahmani, a former Taliban minister during the 1990s, was considered a key member of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council which was chartered by the Karzai government to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban.

Rahmani was killed by a single bullet from a gun equipped with a silencer, according to the authorities, while on his way to Parliament.

Meanwhile, Afghan police detained a suspect in the Rahmani case, according to local news site Pajhwok Afghan News.

Police are also interrogating Rahmani’s driver, although a relative of the victim said the driver was Rahmani’s nephew and had nothing to do with the murder.

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