KABUL, Afghanistan – The new Taliban leader has released a message on the occasion of a major Muslim holiday, saying that for peace in Afghanistan, it's necessary to "end the occupation" of the country by foreign forces — a reference to NATO troops.
Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour also says that all existing military and security deals between the Kabul government and other countries must be revoked.
Tuesday's message is likely an attempt by the newly appointed Mansour to reassure followers that he is keeping in tradition with his predecessor, the late Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, in releasing messages ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday.
Mansour also urges the Taliban to unite and ignore "futile enemy propaganda" about disunity among the Taliban ranks.
There are still some Taliban commanders who oppose Mansour's leadership.