Via India Express:
The man the US and its allies hoped would be a moderate voice in Afghanistan’s Taliban government has been sidelined after a dramatic shootout in the presidential palace in Kabul, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the group’s most public face who led peace talks with the US, was physically attacked by a leader of the US terrorist-designated Haqqani Network in early September during talks at the palace over forming the cabinet, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing the incident.
Baradar had pushed for an “inclusive” cabinet that included non-Taliban leaders and ethnic minorities, which would be more acceptable to the rest of the world, the people said. At one point during the meeting, Khalil ul Rahman Haqqani rose from his chair and began punching the Taliban leader.
Their bodyguards entered the fray and opened fire on each other, killing and wounding a number of them, the people said. While Baradar was not injured he has since left the capital and headed to Kandahar — the group’s base — to speak with Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, effectively the Taliban’s spiritual head.