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Taliban deploys suicide bombers to quell uprising in Afghanistan’s Faryab province

(Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@ChannelNewsAsia)

The Taliban has deployed newly formed brigade of suicide bombers to control the popular uprising in Maimana, the capital city of Faryab province of Afghanistan. On Sunday more than 200 suicide bombers were seen parading on the street along with the elite Badri unit of the Taliban.

It seems that unrest is brewing against the Taliban rulers who captured power in Afghanistan in August last year. For the last four days, Maimana, the provincial capital of Faryab has been witnessing the popular uprising in support of a senior and prominent Taliban Commander Makhdoom Alam who was arrested by the Ministry of Defence of the Taliban regime.

According to Khaama Press, after the arrest of Makhdoom Alam, a popular Uzbek commander, hundreds of people in the northern Faryab province on Thursday, January 13, 2022, took to the streets and asked for his release. Clashes broke out between the Uzbek and Pashtun Taliban fighters during protests forcing the Pashtun Taliban fighters to leave the city.

Protesters say the "central Taliban government" must release Makhdoom Alam as soon as possible, otherwise, the protests will continue. They set up a sit-in tent in front of the Faryab governor's office. Supporters of Makhdoom Alam have warned that if their  commander is not released by the Taliban leaders, the  flag of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” will be removed in the Faryab province “forever”.

Though the Taliban fighters paraded through a northwest Afghan city in a show of strength, situation on the ground were tense. Makhdoom Alam was directly responsible for the fall of 6 northern provinces (Faryab, Jawzjan, Sar-e-Pol, Samangan, Balkh & Baghlan) to the Taliban last year. Alam's fighters also fought in Panjshir.

Sharing the pictures and video clips of the protests, the Afghan media reports that Commander Makhdoom Alam was arrested by the group led by Mullah Fazel, the Deputy Defence Minister of the Taliban regime  in Mazar-e-Sharif on January 12, 2022  where Alam had gone to meet Tajik and Uzbek commanders.

Watch Video : Rebellions on the street fighting Taliban fighters

The Taliban claims that Alam was arrested in a kidnapping case but one Tajik commander, known as General Malik has said that the Pashtun dominated group does not want to share t power. He warned that Uzbek, Turkmen & Tajik commanders of the Taliban would soon face the fate of Makhdoom Alam.

Afghanistan’s Taliban regime is battling a rebellion by ethnic minority fighters in their own ranks in the country’s north, a sign that ties are fraying within the alliance built by the Pashtun dominated Islamist group.  Uzbeks, Tajiks and other groups dominate in the north of Afghanistan and though traditionally anti Pashtun dominated Taliban, but joined the group and played an important role in its conquest of the country last year in the hope to get major power share as spoils of war. But the new Taliban regime kept most senior positions to themselves, and since then,  tensions began to spiral. 

The ongoing rebellion in Faryab fuelled by what local Uzbeks said was discrimination by Pashtuns.

Naqibullah Fayek, a prominent Tajik leader and the former governor of Faryab during the previous Taliban regime, says that he had warned Makhdoom Alam that Taliban leaders were using him and after capturing the country they will remove Tajik,Turkmen and Uzbek minorities from their motherland.

Also Read: In a horrifying first, Taliban ready to recruit women for suicide bomber squads in army