Kabul — The Taliban are one of the former leaders known as the first commander of a group from the minority Shiite Hazara. murdered a person Community, officials confirmed on Wednesday, adding that he had run against the de facto government. He was shot dead by Taliban forces.
Mahdi's appointment to command a few years ago was touted as an example of a shift in the Taliban's attitude toward minorities. came to the spotlight.
The Taliban are hardline supporters of Sunni Islam and were previously mostly associated with the Pashtun ethnic group. More recently, the group sought to include members of other ethnic groups and some Shiites.
The Hazaras, who are native to the mountainous regions of central Afghanistan, are the country's largest ethnic group, predominantly Shia. After the Taliban came to power last year, Mahdi was given the post of head of intelligence in the central provinces.
The origin of the breach between the Mahdi and the Taliban has not been made public, but the Ministry of Defense had spoken of a mopping-up operation against rebels in northern Afghanistan as far back as June.
The defense ministry on Wednesday described Mahdi as the "rebel leader" in the northern province of Salepol.
Taliban sources told Reuters that Mahdi was on bad terms with the Taliban and rebelled against the group's leaders.
He was killed while attempting to flee in Herat, near the border with Shia-majority Iran, according to a statement.
Reuters was unable to reach a representative for Mahdi for comment. (Reporting by Mohammad Yunus Yawal of Kabul and Jibran Ahmad of Peshawar, edited by Peter Graf)