Rift in Afghan Taliban?

Kabul, Oct 19 (IANS) The Afghan Taliban has split, with the formation of an extremist faction opposed to peace talks, an Afghan newspaper reported Saturday.

According to "Hasht-e-Subh", the newly formed "Mahaz Fedai Tahrik Islami Afghanistan," had claimed responsibility for killing Logar province Governor Arsala Jamal on the first day of Eidul Adha festival.

The new group literally means the Suicidal Front of Islamic Movement of Afghanistan.

In a bomb blast that rocked a mosque in Logar's capital Pul-e-Alam Tuesday, Jamal was killed on the spot and 15 others sustained injuries.

The new Taliban faction was reportdly against peace talks.

It came into being in June when the Taliban liaison office was opened in Qatar to hold negotiation with the US and Afghan government on national reconciliation in order to find settlement to the Afghan crisis.

The elusive Taliban chief, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has not released any video or audio cassette since the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US forces in Pakistan, said the paper.


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