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World

GEO ENGLISH
August 25, 2015
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Taliban fighters in Helmand swear allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mansour

Taliban fighters in Helmand swear allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mansour
Taliban fighters in Afghanistan's Helmand province have sworn allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mansour, the new chief of the Afghan militant movement, sources said Tuesday.

Video footage obtained by Geo News shows a large group of armed fighters gathered with Mansour and swearing allegiance to the new supremo. According to the sources, the ceremony took place at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Mullah Akhtar Mansour, a trusted deputy of longtime Taliban leader Mullah Omar, was named as the new chief of the movement in late July in an acrimonious power transition.



Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri recently pledged his group's allegiance to Mansour, in a move which could bolster his accession amid reports of growing infighting within the Afghan militant movement.

The first face-to-face talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban took place last month in the Pakistani hill town of Murree, aimed at ending the 14-year insurgency.

The Taliban distanced themselves from a second round of talks that were scheduled for the end of July after the announcement of Omar's death.
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