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Taliban Leadership Struggle Delaying Afghan Peace Talks


Disarray within the Taliban leadership is delaying peace talks with the Afghan government, but up to 70 percent of the militant group may ultimately be reconciled with Kabul, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said on October 8.

"I think it's going to take a good couple of months before we see them kind of back to any kind of peace negotiation," U.S. Army General John Campbell told the House of Representatives' Armed Services Committee.

"I think reconciliation talks will continue, but it's going to take some time to bring the right people to the table to do that."

The Afghan Taliban attended a round of peace talks with the government in July, but later disavowed the negotiations after the disclosure that Mullah Omar, the elusive leader of the militant group, had died.

Mullah Mansour, a supporter of the peace negotiations, was chosen as Omar's successor, but significant factions of the militant group continue to oppose his selection.

Campbell said he thought 60 percent to 70 percent of the Taliban's members would ultimately be open to reconciliation.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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