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Afghan Taliban Splinter Faction Picks Own Leader

Supporters pray for the late Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar in Quetta, Pakistan in August.

A splinter faction of the Afghan Taliban has reportedly selected its own chief to challenge the militant group's new leader.

Mullah Akhtar Mansur was appointed Taliban leader in July after Afghan intelligence leaked the news that the movement's longtime leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had been dead for more than two years. Mullah Mansur was Mullah Omar's deputy.

An unidentified commander within the dissident faction said on November 2 that they had chosen Mullah Mohammad Rasool Akhund as their leader to lead the fight against U.S.-led foreign forces and the Kabul government.

A second militant commander was quoted as saying Akhund had "spent 10 years with Mullah Omar and was one of his trusted men."

Other militants have split from the Taliban movement and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group following the announcement of Omar's death.

Based on reporting by Reuters