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Friction among Taliban pragmatists, hard-liners intensifies


Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The friction between pragmatists and ideologues in the Taliban leadership has intensified since the group formed a hard-line Cabinet last week that is more in line with their harsh rule in the 1990s than their recent promises of inclusiveness. That’s according to two Afghans familiar with the power struggle behind the scenes. Rumors have been circulating of a recent violent confrontation between the two camps. This included claims that the leader of the pragmatic faction, Abdul Ghani Baradar, was killed. The rumors reached such intensity that an audio recording and handwritten statement, both purportedly by Baradar himself, denied he had been killed. Baradar then appeared in an interview on state TV on Wednesday saying he had been traveling and unable to dispute the rumors.

Associated Press

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