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Amid internal rift Mullah Mansoor pleads for support

AT-KABUL: Dismayed by opposition, the controversial supreme commander of the Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, pleaded with fighters to support him.

After becoming commander-in-chief of the insurgent movement in a controversial manner, the Taliban divided into two opposing groups.  One is led by Mullah Mansoor and another by Mullah Rasool. Both groups are at loggerheads over the leadership. The rival group said that Mansoor knew that Mullah Omar was dead but yet he kept the news secret. Over 100 fighters from both sides were killed and injured in recent clashes in western Herat province.

According to a statement of the group sent to media on Friday, Mullah Mansoor claimed that the insurgent group was in better position than ever. He asked his rivals and followers to show unity. Mansoor-led Taliban rejected participation to the four-nation backed Afghan peace process. The militant faction said that it would not sit for peace talks unless its demands were met. The Taliban demanded that foreign troops should leave Afghanistan; its leaders’ names must be removed from the UN blacklist; and captured Taliban fighters should be released.

Afghan government reiterated that militant attacks would not budge from its stance. The government said that it would continue military operations to maintain security.

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