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Death of Taliban’s Leader Will Dramatically Expand ISIL Terror in Region

© AP Photo / /Ishtiaq MahsudPakistani Taliban patrol in their stronghold of Shawal in Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan
Pakistani Taliban patrol in their stronghold of Shawal in Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan - Sputnik International
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The reports of the death of Mullah Omar, the leader of Taliban, could cause a significant blow to the Islamic fundamentalist political movement, dramatically strengthening the position of the Islamic State militants in the region, the Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Afghanistan, Omar Nessar, said.

“The appearance of such messages, especially if confirmed, could cause a severe blow to the positions of the Taliban movement and dramatically strengthen the position of ISIL in Afghanistan and in the region in general” RIA Novosti reported Nessar as saying.

Afghan security forces - Sputnik International
Afghan Officials Report Taliban Group Leader Mullah Omar Dead
The Taliban has yet to comment on the claim, which was made by an Afghan security service spokesman to the BBC. Abdul Hassib Seddiqi told the BBC's Afghan Service that Mullah Omar had died of health problems at a hospital in Pakistan.

But as the confirmation is yet to come, Nessar believes that reports of the death of Omar may be planned disinformation. “At the moment it looks like it was done to discredit Taliban the movement and weaken their position, as one of the reasons that deter militants and commanders to join the Islamic State is the oath they gave their spiritual leader Mullah Omar,” he said.

“Right now I would reserve my confirmation about the leader’s death, considering that these claims are coming from the parties that may be interested in such a development of the situation,” Nessar added.

The expert added that if Mullah Omer is confirmed dead most probably his son will take over. His son who is only 26 years old may not be able to keep things under control for the Taliban. In any case, the Taliban would suffer a major blow and may lose a large number of its followers if the news of the leader is confirmed.

On the other hand, senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Vladimir Sazhin, thinks that the death of Omar would lead to fight for power within the Taliban.

“As the movement is not a single system and comprises many factions, the situation within the Taliban will change, without anyone knowing for how long the power struggle will continue,” Sazhin said.   

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