Taliban leader warns against infiltrators in the ranks

AFP , Thursday 4 Nov 2021

The supreme leader of the Taliban warned Thursday against the danger of turncoats and infiltrators in the movement that has taken charge of Afghanistan.

Taliban fighter
Taliban fighters block roads after an explosion Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. AP

Reflecting the seriousness of the threat, the reclusive Haibatullah Akhundzada issued a rare written public statement to urge Taliban commanders to purge their ranks.

In it he says "all those elders of their groups must look inside their ranks and see if there is any unknown entity working against the will of the government, which must be eradicated as soon as possible.

"Whatever wrong happens, the elder will be responsible for the consequences of the actions in this world and in the afterlife," he warned, in a statement tweeted out by multiple Taliban accounts.

The Islamist militant movement seized power in August after overrunning the capital and ousting the collapsing US-backed government, declaring a new Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

But after 20-years of guerrilla warfare, the Taliban has been forced to expand their ranks rapidly by recruiting former foes, allied Islamist militants and young madrassa students.

Now that it is the government, the movement faces attacks in its turn from hardline factions like the Islamic group-Khorasan.

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