The Taliban has rejected Afghan press reports that one of its commanders was captured in the eastern province of Paktika while wearing a woman’s dress. Additionally, the jihadist group denied reports that its forces clashed with a rival faction in southwestern Afghanistan. The reports and Taliban denials are part of an ongoing information war being waged by both sides as security in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate.

Today, the National Directorate of Security – Afghanistan’s intelligence service – claimed it captured a Taliban commander, known as Khizar Ali, in Paktika’s Bermal district as he was “dressed like a woman.” The claim was published on the NDS’ Facebook page; included were photographs and a video showing Ali in a colorful woman’s dress [see photo above]. Oddly enough, Ali is handling an AK-47, with a magazine inserted. The NDS report of Ali’s capture was picked up by Afghan news outlets, including Khaama Press.

Also, yesterday, 1TV Afghanistan reported that more than 30 Taliban fighters were killed as forces loyal to Mullah Mansour, the emir of the established Taliban, clashed with followers from Mullah Rasul’s breakaway faction in the Nawa district in Ghazni province.

The Taliban issued a statement yesterday on Voice of Jihad, its official propaganda outlet, rejecting the capture of Ali as well as the report of infighting with Rasul’s forces.

“The provincial officials of the stooge Kabul regime alongside their notorious intelligence agency have been claiming since yesterday of infighting between Mujahideen in Nawa or Maqur districts of Ghazni province as well as arresting a commander in Bermal district of Paktika province today,” a statement attributed to Zabihullah Mujahid read, one of the group’s official spokesmen.


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Image courtesy of the Long War