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4 tribesmen killed in clash over Helmand land dispute

4 tribesmen killed in clash over Helmand land dispute

Jan 15, 2018 - 21:19

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): At least four civilians have been killed and six others wounded during a clash with Taliban militants over a land dispute in Musa Qala district of southern Helmand province, an official said on Monday.

Omar Zwak, the Helmand governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the land dispute surfaced between Ishaqzai and Alizai tribes about one month ago in Musa Qala district.

He said Taliban’s shadow governor for Helmand Mullah Manan, who belonged to Ishzazai tribe, wanted to distribute land owned by Alizai tribe to Ishaqzai tribesmen who were residents of Nawzad district, resulting in the conflict.

He added four civilians were killed and six others wounded in yesterday’s clash between Alizai tribesmen and Taliban rebels. He over 20 Taliban militants also suffered casualties in the battle.

Zwak said the Taliban were trying to fuel tribal differences in Helmand and exploit the situation in their favor.

Meanwhile, a tribal elder in Musa Qala district, who wished to go unnamed, said the Taliban’s move to give Alizai’s land to the Ishaqzai tribe would give birth to a long-running dispute between the two tribes.

The Taliban also confirmed the issue and their spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the Taliban had tried many times to resolve the issue peacefully.

He said one person was killed and three others were wounded in yesterday’s clash over the land.  He said the Taliban had no political goal to achieve from the dispute.

Musa Qala is one of Helmand’s insecure districts where Taliban have been in control over the past few years.