Taliban Commander Defects as Heavy Fighting Erupts in Afghanistan
A Taliban commander defected along with up to 70 soldiers as opposition forces claimed success in heavy overnight fighting in Afghanistan, a report said Sunday.
The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press said Taliban officials had confirmed that Commander Suleman defected along with 60 to 70 fighters as clashes broke out in various parts of the west and east.
But they said the commander had a history of playing both sides of the Afghan civil war and his latest defection was an attempt to avoid appearing in a Taliban military court on unspecified charges.
Opposition sources said some 200 Taliban fighters had joined their ranks over the past 24 hours, amid other reports that the ruling Islamic militia's grip on power was growing shaky as it tries to face down possible US strikes over its alleged support for terrorism -- ISLAMABAD (AFP)
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