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Mullah Baradar: Taliban say founder 'freed by Pakistan'

October 24, 2018 4:07 pm

The Afghan Taliban spokesman has said one of its founding members has been released from detention in Pakistan.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar served as second-in-command under Mullah Omar and co-ordinated the group’s military operations in southern Afghanistan.

He was arrested eight years ago in the Pakistani city of Karachi.

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Correspondents say his release could be linked to US efforts to revive peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government.

“He wasn’t released because he was ill,” a Taliban source told the BBC.

“In fact Pakistan also wants him to play a role in peace talks. He is in good shape and is expected to play a role in the peace process.”

Taliban officials secretly met a senior US diplomat in Qatar, it emerged in July. The Islamist group’s power and reach have surged since foreign combat troops left Afghanistan in 2014.

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