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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 October, 2004, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Afghanistan's Army of Muslims
By Rahimullah Yusufzai
BBC correspondent in Peshawar

Taleban fighters
The Jaish-e-Muslimeen - former Taleban members
The Jaish-e-Muslimeen (JM) - Army of Muslims - is a splinter faction of Afghanistan's hard-line former Taleban rulers.

It was founded by a former Taleban commander, Akbar Agha, in December 2001 soon after the regime fell.

Mr Agha, 47, commanded Taleban forces in the Maidan-Shahr area, west of Kabul, for 11 months in the mid-1990s.

But he then fell out with the movement's supreme leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

'Narrow-minded' Taleban

Mr Agha comes from Arghandab district in southern Kandahar province, the Taleban heartland.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Mr Agha said he was opposed to the Taleban's policy of concentrating power in the hands of Pashtuns.

He was unhappy that this was at the expense of other ethnic groups, such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-i-Islami party.

Mr Agha said the Taleban ought to shun their narrow-minded policies and learn to work in coalition with other anti-US groups.

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