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Afghan Taliban to Elect New Leader Following Disputed Pick

© AP Photo / Rahmat GulTaliban fighters hold their heavy and light weapons before surrendering them to Afghan authorities in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. File photo
Taliban fighters hold their heavy and light weapons before surrendering them to Afghan authorities in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. File photo - Sputnik International
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A Taliban spokesman said that the appointment of Mullah Mansour on Thursday contradicted the traditional principles of choosing a new leader.

A member of the Taliban insurgent and other people stand at the site during the execution of three men in Ghazni Province on April 18, 2015. - Sputnik International
Taliban Appoints New Leader, Peace Talks With Kabul in Jeopardy
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Taliban Islamic fundamentalist movement operating in Afghanistan will meet to elect a new successor to its deceased leader, the radical group’s spokesman said Saturday.

Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi told the BBC that Mullah Mansour, who was appointed Thursday to succeed Mullah Mohammed Omar, was not chosen "by all Taliban."

"According to Islamic rule and principles, when a leader dies, a [council] is called, then its leader it appointed," Niazi said, arguing that that had not taken place and therefore went against Sharia law.

Mullah Omar, founder and spiritual leader of the movement that ruled most of Afghanistan in the 1990s until its overthrow by NATO-led forces in 2001, was confirmed this week to have died two years ago.

The Afghan Presidential Administration claimed that Omar died in the Pakistani city of Karachi in April 2013, while official Pakistan has repeatedly denied that Omar was in the country.

The Taliban fighters - Sputnik International
Pakistan Says Afghan Talks Suspended After News of Taliban Leader’s Death
The reclusive Taliban commander has not been seen in public since the early 2000s. His son, Mullah Yaqoob, was rumored to have the backing of at least one Taliban faction for leadership.

The British broadcaster said some Taliban figures accused pro-Pakistani factions of imposing Mullah Mansour, who supported peace talks with the Afghan government.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it was suspending the second round of negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban, scheduled for Friday, in view of the recent news.

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