May 07, 2020

Taliban founders son appointed military chief of insurgents
The son of the Afghan Taliban's late founder has been appointed as the insurgents' MILITARY chief in a political reshuffle to check the power of his predecessor, senior militant figures have said. Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob has been announced head of the military commission for the movement trying to overthrown the internationally-backed government in Afghanistan. His appointment was confirmed as the militants have significantly ramped up attacks following a withdrawal agreement with America. The appointment of the son of Mullah Mohammad Omar, the one-eyed founder of the Taliban, reins in the former military leader Sardar Ibrahim as the movement closes in on negotiations with the Afghan government. Mullah Yaqoob will keep his previous post as deputy to the movement's overall leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada, but will now also oversee military operations. Mullah Omar died in 2013, though the insurgent movement continued to release statements in his name until it finally admitted he was dead in 2015. Two senior Taliban figures told the Telegraph that the decision had been made at the insistence of factions in the Taliban and among Pakistan's military who still have influence over the insurgents. Ibrahim had been considered too hostile to Pakistan and too close to Iran, the sources said. Zabiullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Taliban, confirmed the appointment but would not comment on the reasons for it. The post of military chief has formally been vacant for several years, but Ibrahim has been de facto nationwide leader while officially deputy in charge of southern military operations. Ibrahim will remain as Mullah Yaqoob's deputy.
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