Kandahar, Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s Taliban militia said on 14 May 2007 the death of top military commander Mullah Dadullah would not “slow down the jihad” and announced the fighter would be succeeded by his brother.
After initially rejecting the government’s announcement a day earlier that Dadullah was killed in battle in southern Afghanistan, the Taliban’s leadership council acknowledged that he was dead.
The leader of the movement, Mullah Mohammad Omar, appointed Dadullah’s younger brother, Mullah Bakht Mohammad, to take his place, a spokesman said.
Omar said there were a thousand fighters ready to avenge the commander, according to a statement read by the spokesman.
“This is not going to slow down the Taliban jihad (holy war),” another spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, told AFP separately.
The Taliban leadership council offered their condolences to the family of Dadullah, “his mujahedin (holy warriors), the Muslims of Afghanistan and the Muslims of the world.”
At the same time, the Taliban congratulated Afghanistan on his “martyrdom,” Ahmadi said.
Ahmadi said the one-legged commander, who was aged about 40, had fought long and hard before he was finally killed.
“Mullah Dadullah had resisted and fought for a full day, 24 hours, against NATO and Afghan troops and then he was martyred,” the spokesman said.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a renegade warlord who leads a separate insurgency against the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, also expressed condolences over Dadullah’s killing, a spokesman told AFP from an undisclosed location.
The Afghan government showed journalists the body of the commander on 13 May 2007 to prove that they had the right man.
The Taliban threatened reprisals if Dadullah’s body was not returned.
But the governor of Kandahar province, Assadullah Khalid, told reporters the body was was buried in Kandahar following Islamic rituals.
He would not give the location of the grave but said this information would be passed on to his family, if requested.