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Afghan spy chief verifies Ismail's death.

KABUL (PAN): The National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief on Tuesday confirmed the death of Taliban military council's deputy head Maulvi Ismail and 25 key rebel figures, but the militant movement vehemently rejected the claim.

NDS chief Lt. Gen. Rahmatullah Nabil told the Senate (upper house of parliament) that Maulvi Ismail and his supporters were detained on their way to an airport in southwestern Pakistan to hold clandestine peace talks with the Afghan government.

He said the detainees were subsequently shot dead, believing the commander might have been killed by Taliban at the behest of ceratin groups which implemented their plans throught the guerrilla movement. He would not go into details about the groups.

"Afghan Taliban should learn from it; the people (foreign groups) who support them use the Taliban for realising their own objectives. When the fighters take steps towards peace, they are detained and killed by their mentors," he claimed.

Nabil urged Afghan Taliban leaders not to travel to Qatar or Dubai but talk directly to government officials inside the country.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a government official on Monday revealed that the prominent insurgent leaders had been killed by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Before being killed, Ismail was reportedly detained in Quetta on charges of holding secret parleys with the US and Afghan government, said the official.

The official said ISI operatives had told the top militants that they were enforcing Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar's decree to eliminate them. However, this claim is yet to be confirmed independently.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, described reports about Ismail's killing as false, saying that it was propaganda by the group's rivals. Ismail is alive and in a good health, he added.

Ismail, detained two months ago for irresponsibly entering peace talks with the US and Afghan officials, was also blamed for misappropriating the funds collected from NATO supply convoys.

Nabil also asked tribal elders of Pakistan's restive North Waziristan region not to allow people to exploit their children or land for carrying out terrorist and anti-government activities.

"Children from other areas of Pakistan are studying in universities of Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, but your youth are becoming suicide bombers," he said, referring to Hakimullah Mehud, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad and other Taliban leaders.

Nabil urged the international community to equip Afghan security personnel to enable them to stem terrorism. "War will continue in Afghanistan as long as terrorist sanctuaries outside the borders remain intact," he remarked.

The spy chief said there were 30,000 seminaries across Durand Line, with 5,000 of them providing terrorist training to their students. If one seminary trained two terrorists a year, the total numbers of terrorists would come to 10,000, he added.

After his address, Nabil asked senators for continuing the session behind closed doors. Later, he held discrete talks with lawmakers in the absence of journalists.

myn/vp/mud

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Publication:Pajhwok Afghan News (Kabul, Afghanistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 1, 2012
Words:495
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