Afghan Taliban leader hints at peace talks


PESHAWAR: The new leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mansour, called for unity and raised the possibility of peace talks with the government in Kabul in a message released on Tuesday to mark the upcoming Muslim festival of Eid.The message comes days after a group of dissident Taliban commanders denounced Mansour’s recent appointment to replace the militant group’s late leader, Mullah Omar. Divisions within the Taliban have threatened to derail fledgling peace talks with the Afghan government and allow the Islamic State group to expand its foothold in the region. Mansour was hastily appointed Taliban leader in July after Afghan intelligence leaked the news that Omar, the movement’s reclusive one-eyed leader, had been dead for more than two years. Mansour was Omar’s deputy.