KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — A breakaway Taliban faction in Afghanistan has appointed a new leader for the group, the nephew of the faction’s longtime leader who was killed in fighting with rivals last year.
The development reflects the complex layers of the insurgency in Afghanistan, where though dominant, the Taliban are not the only militant group waging war.
At a gathering Monday in southern Zabul province, Mullah Emdadullah Mansoor was named leader of the faction known as Mahaaz-e-Dadullah. The meeting was attended by tribal and religious leaders, as well as the group’s local commanders.
Associated Press video of the gathering shows Mansoor accepting the leadership position among a crowd of gunmen, mostly young guards. He is the nephew of Mullah Mansoor Dadullah who was killed in Khak-e-Afghan district of Zabul last year, fighting with rival Taliban.
“I accept the leadership of these men, based on the decision of the clerics,” said Mansoor, promising to “fight foreign forces” and exact revenge for the group’s slain leader.
MIRWAIS KHAN AND RAHIM FAIEZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS