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The recent arrest of Taliban spokesman Mohammed Hanif, has led to further revelations about the divisions and differences within the Afghan militant group. According to Afghan security sources, cited in the Saudi newspaper ‘al-Watan’, after having revealed that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was living in the Pakistani city of Quetta under the protection of the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI, Hanif has reportedly also explained the workings within the Taliban.

According to the report, Hanif said that the Taliban is divided into three groups. The first group is made up of former members of the Taliban regime in Kabul who are fighting only to prevent from being caught and are probably not close to Mullah Omar. A second group, Hanif said, is composed of people linked to Islamic extremists in Pakistan and a third group is close to al-Qaeda and is said to be the most agressive and violent.

It is not clear which group is close to Mullah Omar, but it also emerged that in the course of a war within the group, some important leaders or mullahs have been killed.

Hanif also said that Mullah Omar ordered the killing of Mullah Dadallah accused of having indirectly helped the Americans of killing one of his adversaries last month, Mullah Othmani, among the most important military commanders within the Taliban, in the course of an attack in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.  These internal divisions within the Taliban have added to the unprecedented level of violence and will also see a cross-section of revenge attacks being carried out. Hanif also admitted that the American pressure on the Pakistani government also led to the arrests of various Taliban leaders in the past few months.

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