Exclusive: Dissident commanders meet to choose rival Afghan Taliban leader




 
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Exclusive: Dissident commanders meet to choose rival Afghan Taliban leader
 
October 20th, 2015  
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Topic: Exclusive: Dissident commanders meet to choose rival Afghan Taliban leader


Exclusive: Dissident commanders meet to choose rival Afghan Taliban leader
By Jibran Ahmad PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Weeks after the Afghan Taliban's biggest battlefield success since 2001, dissident commanders unhappy with their new leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour are meeting to choose a rival, they told Reuters on Tuesday. A leadership battle within the Taliban could create space for militants loyal to Islamic State to expand their foothold in the region, and could discourage Mansour from resuming Pakistan-backed peace talks with the Afghan government. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is pushing for a negotiated settlement to the 14-year insurgency, which has escalated markedly since tens of thousands of NATO combat troops withdrew ahead of an end-2014 deadline.




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