18:26 GMT17 January 2021
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    Two rival factions of the Taliban in Afghanistan have reportedly agreed to put an end to fierce internal infighting.

    On New Year's Day, two rival factions of the Taliban in Afghan agreed to a ceasefire, which means that they can put a stop to deadly infighting, according to Reuters.

    The struggle inside the Taliban began in July 2015, when reports confirmed the death of the hardline Islamist insurgency's founder Mullah Mohammad Omar.

    Tensions persisted as some Taliban field commanders refused to recognize the new leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who succumbed to his injuries in December 2015, according to unconfirmed reports.

    In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 photo, Afghan Taliban fighters listen to Mullah Mohammed Rasool, unseen, the newly-elected leader of a breakaway faction of the Taliban, in Farah province, Afghanistan
    © AP Photo
    In this Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 photo, Afghan Taliban fighters listen to Mullah Mohammed Rasool, unseen, the newly-elected leader of a breakaway faction of the Taliban, in Farah province, Afghanistan

    The Friday deal was reportedly clinched by representatives of a splinter group headed by Mullah Mohammad Rasool Akhund, calling itself the ulema, and the exiled insurgency leadership headed by Mansour.

    "We agreed on ceasefire and prisoners' swap, but the ulema were not given access to Mansour," Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, Rasool's deputy was quoted by Reuters as saying.

    The Taliban is waging an armed struggle with the Afghan authorities to regain control of the country while also fighting militants from Daesh (ISIL/ISIS), which has managed to boost its clout in Afghanistan over the past few months. This jihadist group is banned in Russia and some other countries.

    In December, UN officials said that the Taliban can only obtain official recognition if it becomes part of an internationally recognized process of peaceful settlement.

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    infighting, factions, deal, ceasefire, Taliban, Afghanistan
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