Afghan security forces walk past a burning car after a group of insurgents stormed a compound used by Afghanistan's intelligence agency in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 7, 2015. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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Taliban leader Mullah Omar Wednesday hailed as "legitimate" peace talks aimed at ending Afghanistan's 13-year war, in his first comments on the nascent dialogue, easing concerns that it lacked the leadership's backing.Afghan officials sat down with Taliban cadres last week in Murree, a tourist town in the hills north of Islamabad, Pakistan, for their first face-to-face talks aimed at ending the bloody insurgency.Several informal meetings have been held in recent months between Taliban representatives and Afghan officials and activists, but last week's meeting is seen as a significant step forward.The Taliban warned ISIS last month against expanding in the region, but this has not stopped some fighters, inspired by the group's success, defecting to swear allegiance to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi instead of the invisible Mullah Omar.
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