Friction among Taliban pragmatists, hard-liners intensifies
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.
Afghanistan claims killing an al-Qaida leader wanted by FBI
The violence and al-Rauf's reported killing threatens the face-to-face peace talks and risks plunging this nation beset by decades of war into further instability. It also complicates America's efforts to withdraw, 19 years after it led an invasion targeting the Taliban for hosting al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11 attacks. Al-Qaida did not immediately acknowledge al-Rauf's reported death. On the village's outskirts, they stormed an isolated home and killed seven suspected militants in a firefight, including al-Rauf, Kamrani said. The FBI put him on the bureau's “Most Wanted Terrorists” list, which now includes 27 others.
Taliban make big changes ahead of expected talks with Kabul
ISLAMABAD In one of the most significant shake-ups in years, the Taliban put the son of the movement's feared founder in charge of its military wing and added powerful figures to its negotiating team ahead of expected talks aimed at ending Afghanistans decades of war, Taliban officials say. As head of a newly united military wing, 30-year-old Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, brings his father's fiercely uncompromising reputation to the battlefield. Equally significant is the addition of four members of the insurgent group's leadership council to the 20-member negotiating team, Taliban officials told The Associated Press. Surprisingly the shuffle also sidelined senior Taliban leader Amir Khan Muttaqi, removing him from the negotiating committee. The newly strengthened negotiating team includes Abdul Hakeem, a former Taliban chief justice and confidant of Akhunzada, as well as Maulvi Saqib, chief justice during the Taliban rule.
US, Russia share a complex and bloody history in Afghanistan
Moscow and Washington are intertwined in a complex and bloody history in Afghanistan, with both suffering thousands of dead and wounded in conflicts lasting for years. Now both superpowers are linked again over Afghanistan, with intelligence reports indicating Russia secretly offered bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops there. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)ISLAMABAD Moscow and Washington are intertwined in a complex and bloody history in Afghanistan, with both suffering thousands of dead and wounded in conflicts lasting for years. Now both superpowers are linked again over Afghanistan, with intelligence reports indicating Russia secretly offered bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops there. Even as Russia and the U.S. vie for influence in Afghanistan, they are aligned in their opposition to IS.