Taliban Splinters as ISIS Infiltrates Afghanistan

The Afghan Taliban has struggled with infighting and fractured alliances as ISIS has increased its reach into Afghanistan, Taliban commanders and Afghan intelligence officers told NBC News. The Taliban — which has been fighting an insurgency since it was toppled by the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 — has fragmented into three groups, each with different objectives. Some are still loyal to the original Taliban and its leaders; others are fighting under the banner of ISIS; a third group wants to join the peace process with the Afghan government. "The cracks in the ranks of Taliban began late last year with the emergence of [ISIS] in the region," a senior Afghan intelligence official told NBC News on condition of anonymity.

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