News - Afghanistan
A dissident Afghan Taliban group that supports Mullah Mohammad Rasoul has released a new video reportedly recorded in Farah province in which the loyalists call Mullah Akhter Mansour, successor to the group's longtime former leader Mullah Omar, an ISI puppet.
In the video, the militants declare a nationwide military campaign against Mullah Akhter Mansour faction.
On Saturday, loyalists to Mullah Rasoul gathered in Farah to demonstrate their power against the Mullah Mansour faction. Loyalists reiterated that they do not recognize Mullah Mansour as a legitimate leader and called on the people to back the Mullah Rasoul faction in their war against Mullah Mansour whom they believe is a puppet of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
"Our group has appointed governors for each of the provinces and assigned tasks to relevant people to run the districts. Therefore, join us in our efforts against the opponent group," Mullah Ahmad Yasin, a local commander and loyalist to Mullah Rasoul said.
"The religious scholars maintain religious obligations to interpret the truth in this sensitive arena of history. If people are killed on the decree of the religious scholars, they will be held accountable in the day of resurrection," another loyalist Mullah Abdul Zahir said in the video.
They pledged to give a well-measured response to the rhetoric attacks of Mullah Mansour faction. They urged that that their longtime leader Mullah Omar is believed to have be killed 14 or 18 years ago in Pakistan.
"How long we must do the slavery of Pakistan? Our leader was killed 14 or 18 years ago and still we do not know where his grave is," another loyalist to Mullah Rasoul faction, Mullah Allah Gul said.
"Mullah Omar Akhund kept the title of Amirulmominin (commander of the faithful) for twenty years. But the new group which operate under the leadership of Mullah Akhter Mansour misinterpreted the rights of the Mujahideen and issued letters in the name of Mullah Omar for years. But finally Zakeri who was a Sheikh killed in Quetta. When asked why our religious figures are killed, then they said that they were belonging to the particular person," loyalist to Rasoul, Mullah Mehrab said.
This comes after the group released a similar video in Faryab province a few weeks ago in which they warned they would seize control of the province in the near future and will eliminate its enemies.
TOLOnews reporter tried to get comment from the Afghan government, but were not able to.