The Taliban have denied that one in every of their prime leaders has been killed in a shootout with rivals, following rumours about inside splits within the motion practically a month after its lightning victory over the Western-backed authorities in Kabul.
Sulail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, mentioned Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, former head of the Taliban political workplace who was named deputy prime minister final week, issued a voice message rejecting claims he had been killed or injured in a conflict.
“He says it’s lies and completely baseless,” Shaheen mentioned in a message on Twitter.
The Taliban additionally launched video footage purportedly exhibiting Baradar at conferences within the southern metropolis of Kandahar. Reuters couldn’t instantly confirm the footage.
The denials comply with days of rumours that supporters of Baradar had clashed with these of Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the Haqqani community that’s primarily based close to the border with Pakistan and was blamed for among the worst suicide assaults of the conflict.
The rumours comply with hypothesis over attainable rivalries between navy commanders like Haqqani and leaders from the political workplace in Doha like Baradar, who led diplomatic efforts to succeed in a settlement with the United States.
The Taliban have repeatedly denied the hypothesis over inside divisions.
Baradar, as soon as seen because the possible head of a Taliban authorities, had not been seen in public for a while and was not a part of the ministerial delegation which met Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Kabul on Sunday.
The motion’s supreme chief, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, has additionally not been seen in public for the reason that Taliban seized Kabul on Aug. 15, though he issued a public assertion when the brand new authorities was shaped final week.
Speculation over Taliban leaders has been fed by the circumstances surrounding the dying of the motion’s founder, Mullah Omar, which was solely made public in 2015 two years after it occurred, setting off bitter recriminations among the many management.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)