Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor: Taliban's new leader vows to continue fighting as he releases first address to supporters

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor was recently elected as leader of the group, following the death of long serving leader Mullah Mohammad Omar

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The Independent Online

The Taliban’s new leader has vowed to continue fighting and urged for unity within the group, in his first statement since becoming the head of the organisation.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor was recently elected as leader of the group, following the death of long serving leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

A 30-minute audio clip has been released and purports to be a speech by Mansoor. In it, he calls for unity amongst fighters in a bid to quell growing factions.

He says: "We have to continue our jihad, we shouldn't be suspicious of each other. We should accept each other.

“Whatever happens must comply with Sharia law, whether that be jihad, or talks, or an invitation to either. Our decisions all must be based on Sharia law.

"We should keep our unity, we must be united, our enemy will be happy in our separation.

“This is a big responsibility for us. This is not the work of one, two or three people. This is all our responsibility to carry on jihad until we establish the Islamic state."

Internal tensions have been developing regarding the leadership of the group. Mullah Omar's son Yacoob has publicly rejected Mansoor's election, which was held in the Pakistani city of Quetta.

He said the vote took place among a small clique of Mansoor's supporters and demanded a re-election that includes all Taliban commanders, including those fighting in Afghanistan.

With additional reporting by AP

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