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  • Is There A Civil War Developing Among The Taliban?

    A faction of the Taliban in Afghanistan has now committed to supporting women’s rights, saying Sunday that it’s willing to work with the government for peace talks.

    Abdul Manan Niazi, deputy head of the splinter group, said in practice this means allowing women to work and receive education. The new group formed last Wednesday after a segment of Taliban fighters met in Farah province, The Washington Post reports.

    This splinter group is headed by Mullah Mohammad Rasool, who has recently sided with Islamic State militants to ensure that he has enough manpower behind him to face off against Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, the leader of the most powerful Taliban faction.

    “It is obvious that Mullah Rasool’s group can’t face Akhtar Mansoor alone so they need IS,” an anonymous Taliban commander for Mansoor told The Associated Press. “We said that before and now it has been proven,” he said.

    But Rasool has the credentials to secure enough support to rend the Taliban’s organizational structure, having served as governor of the Farah and Nimroz provinces before the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

    The Taliban is in the middle of an internal crisis. Some of its top leaders have defected to the Islamic State. Others have decided to strike out on their own and start new operations.

    Part of the reason for ideological divisions is a fight over succession. The announcement of the death of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar this summer and confusion over who is the rightful successor has prompted violence and the emergence of factions occupying unique ideological enclaves to distinguish themselves from other factions. Some Taliban fighters have accused Mansoor of suppressing the news of Omar’s death, which provided the impetus for the first formal split of the group. The fighters blame Mansoor’s greediness for the split.

    In just two days, about 50 men on two sides have been killed. Neither side recognizes the other as legitimate, but Mansoor’s faction is gaining the lead.

    This may be why Rasool is making key concessions on women’s rights, hoping to find favor with the Afghan government and the United States, in order to compensate for losses. Still, deputy head Niazi said that peace talks are out of the question until all foreign troops, the U.S. included, leave the country.

    ISIS, meanwhile, is making incursions into Afghanistan and now controls several areas in eastern Nangarhar province.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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