Breakaway Taliban faction expresses support for peace talks

SHINDAND:  A senior leader of a breakaway Taliban faction says it is willing to hold peace talks with the Afghan government but will demand the imposition of Islamic law and the departure of all foreign forces.

Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi told a group of followers on Sunday that his faction has no faith in the Kabul government but is willing to negotiate without preconditions.

Niazi is deputy to Mullah Mohammad Rasool, who split with the Taliban last summer after Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was chosen to succeed the group’s late founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Mansoor was killed earlier this month in a US drone strike in Pakistan.

The main Taliban faction has expressed similar demands, but says it will only enter talks after they have been met.- AP