Taliban official resigns in sign of growing internal divide

Kabul: A senior Taliban figure has resigned from the Afghan insurgent group, accusing it of concealing the death of longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and appointing a successor outside the country.

Mohammad Tayab Agha, head of the Taliban’s political office, said in a statement today that the movement made a “historic mistake” by concealing the Mullah Omar’s death, which it only confirmed last week.

Afghan authorities say the Taliban leader died more than two years ago.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who had served as Mullah Omar’s deputy, was chosen to succeed him by the group’s Supreme Council, meeting in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

Mullah Omar’s relatives have called for a wider election. Agha’s resignation was confirmed by Waheed Muzhda, who was an official in the Taliban government in the 1990s.