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Afghanistan: Taliban leaders in bust-up at presidential palace, sources say

Afghanistan: Taliban leaders in bust-up at presidential palace, sources say

A major row broke out between leaders of the Taliban over the make-up of the group’s new government in Afghanistan, senior Taliban officials told the BBC.

The argument between the group’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and a cabinet member happened at the presidential palace, they said.

There have been unconfirmed reports of disagreements within the Taliban’s leadership since Mr Baradar disappeared from public view in recent days.

These have been officially denied.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last month, and have since declared the country an “Islamic Emirate”. Their new interim cabinet is entirely male and made up of senior Taliban figures, some of whom are notorious for attacks on US forces over the last two decades.

One Taliban source told BBC Pashto that Mr Baradar and Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani – the minister for refugees and a prominent figure within the militant Haqqani network – had exchanged strong words, as their followers brawled with each other near.

A senior Taliban member based in Qatar and a person connected to those involved also confirmed that an argument had taken place late last week.

The sources said the argument had broken out because Mr Baradar, the new deputy prime minister, was unhappy about the structure of their interim government.

It has been said that the row stemmed from divisions over who in the Taliban should take credit for their victory in Afghanistan.

Mr Baradar reportedly believes that the emphasis should be placed on diplomacy carried out people like him, while members of the Haqqani group – which is run one of the most senior Taliban figures – and their backers say it was achieved through fighting.

Mr Baradar was the first Taliban leader to communicate directly with a US president, having a telephone conversation with Donald Trump in 2020. Before that, he signed the Doha agreement on the withdrawal of US troops on behalf of the Taliban.

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