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Taliban leaders got into a massive brawl after they disagreed over which of them did the most to drive the United States out of Afghanistan, report says


Taliban fighters in the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Zabi Karimi / AP Images

  • Two factions of the Taliban leadership clashed late last week, the BBC said.

  • They disagreed over who did the most to kick the United States out and who should get certain cabinet positions.

  • The leader on the one hand, the co-founder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has not been seen since.

  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Key Taliban operatives got into a massive scuffle after arguing over who did the most to secure victory in Afghanistan, the BBC reported, citing senior officials in the militant group.

The fight between two factions of the Taliban leadership took place inside the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul at the end of last week and came after a debate over who had the most to oust the US military from their country. , reported the BBC.

The parties also clashed over who should get which ministerial roles in their new government, the BBC reported.

The Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, and the US military withdrew from the country for good on August 30. The Taliban announced an interim government on September 7.

Taliban co-founder and acting deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was leading the fight, the BBC said, while the other was led by Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani, the refugee minister.

Taliban sources told the BBC the dispute erupted because Baradar was unhappy with the makeup of the interim government.

Baradar had also argued that diplomatic efforts to take control of Afghanistan, such as those led by himself, were more effective than the use of military force, the BBC reported. Haqqani and his supporters disagreed, according to the report.

The Taliban deny that the fight took place, according to the BBC.

Reports of the melee come as rumors circulate about Baradar’s state of health as he has not been seen in public for several days. Taliban sources told the BBC that Baradar left Kabul for Kandahar city after the fight.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen on Monday tweeted that rumors that Baradar had been killed in combat were false.

According to the BBC, a Taliban spokesman said Baradar traveled to Kandahar to meet with Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the reclusive Taliban supreme leader. However, a Taliban spokesman later told BBC Pashto that Baradar was “tired and wanted to rest”.

Akhundzada has also not been seen in public since August 15, Reuters reported.

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