Accessibility links

Breaking News

Top Taliban Official Quits Amid Succession Questions

The Taliban office in Qatar.
The Taliban office in Qatar.

A top official within the Taliban has announced his resignation amid a growing leadership struggle in the Afghan militant organization.

Syed Mohammad Tayab Agha said in a statement on August 4 that he is quitting as director of the Taliban's political office in the Qatari capital, Doha.

The bureau was set up to enable the Taliban to hold peace talks with the Afghan government.

Agha said he considered the decision to keep secret the 2013 death of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar a "historic mistake by the individuals concerned."

The Taliban announced last week that Mullah Omar had died.

The announcement that Omar's longtime deputy, Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansur, would be the new leader has angered many senior Taliban officials and was denounced by Omar's brother.

Several Taliban commanders have reportedly halted fighting until the leadership situation is clarified.

Agha said in a statement the new Taliban leader should be appointed "in presence of the courageous mujahedin in their strongholds inside the country."

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said he could not confirm the statement came from Agha.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP