No peace until foreign troops leave Afghanistan, says Taliban chief

“If the Kabul administration wants to end the war and establish peace in the country, it is possible through ending the occupation and revoking all military and security treaties with the invaders”, Mr. Mansour said in the message.


Also Tuesday, a roadside bombing in northern Balkh province killed five police officers, including a district police chief, according to Sher Jan Durani, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Balkh.

Mansoor said the continued presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan – around 13,000 foreign troops, including 10,000 USA soldiers, stayed after the end of NATO’s combat mission in December – was reason to carry on fighting. Moreover, questions surrounding the support base of his successor, Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, further suggested that the Taliban’s days as a formidable fighting force might be numbered. Mansoor in his message has called upon his followers not to hurt civilians during military operations.

The militants have spent recent weeks trying to patch up a damaging rift in the movement sparked by the power struggle that followed the admission Omar had died in 2013. 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.

The new Taliban leader has said peace will be achieved in Afghanistan only after all foreign forces leave.

“It (the enemy) directly and indirectly spreads baseless rumors regarding split and ramification among the united ranks of Mujahideen”, he said.


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. He did not name any country, but neighboring Pakistan where members of the Taliban are allegedly sheltering, has in recent months stepped pressure on the insurgents to engage in peace talks with President Ashraf Ghani’s national unity government in Kabul. The casualties have reached their highest level since the United Nations began issuing its authoritative reports in 2009.

Attacks in north Afghanistan kill 15 Afghan security forces