Report: 25 Taliban executed by fellow members for holding peace talks with U.S.

Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) Chief testified to the Afghan Senate today that Maluvi Mohammad Ismail, who until last year served as the Military Council Chairman for the Taliban’s Quetta Shura, had recently been executed by rival Taliban members along with 25 other “key rebel figures.” NDS chief Lieutenant General Rahmatullah Nabil additionally noted that the former head of the Taliban’s Recruitment Council, Ustad Yasir, a key ideologue for the Taliban movement, had been among those killed. And regional reports identified two other Afghan Taliban officials who had also been killed: Maulvi Shaheedkhel (Shahid Khel), allegedly the shadow governor of Laghman province, and a Taliban intelligence figure named Maulvi Ahmadullah Wror.

According to Nabil, Ismail and his supporters had been detained by Taliban fighters on the way to an airport in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, as they were preparing to fly to a meeting for peace talks with the Afghan government, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. And in fact, local media reported on April 18 that several high-ranking Taliban members, including Ismail, Mullah Ahad Agha, and Mullah Ghulam Hassan, had been seized near Quetta by Taliban gunmen in early April. During the Taliban regime, Mullah Ghulam Hassan reportedly served as the minister of intelligence and Mullah Ahad Agha served as a Taliban commander in Zabul province.