Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, deputy leader of a Taliban splinter group led by Mullah Rasool, who was critically wounded in an armed attack in the western province of Herat has died, a close relative of Niazi confirmed to Kabul Now.
A niece of Niazi told Kabul Now on Monday, May 15, that Niazi died of his severe injury around 02:00 PM on the same day as they were preparing to transfer him to Turkey for medical treatment.
Afghan security officials have yet to comment in this regard.
Niazi got severely injured in an ambush on Wednesday, May 12, in an area between Guzara and Adraskan district of the western Herat province. Three of his men were killed and two others wounded in the attack.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
Hundreds of Taliban fighters were under Niazi’s command in the same area where he was attacked and have fought the mainstream Taliban led by Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzadah.
Some reports indicate that the Taliban splinter group led by Mullah Rasool and Niazi is supported by the National Directorate of Security – Afghanistan intelligence agency.
During the Taliban rule (From 1996 – 2001), Niazi was once appointed as governor of the Taliban regime in the northern Balkh province where he publicly ordered the killing and massacres of Hazaras. He has made some very controversial and provocative statements against the ethnic group very recently.