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The Taliban have denied that certainly one of their high 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, stated 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 stated in a message on Twitter.
Baradar, who was final week named as a quantity two to Mullah Mohammed Hassan Akhundzada within the Taliban transitional authorities, has been lacking from public view, main some Afghans to query whether or not the senior chief was alive.
The Taliban’s official efforts to dispel the rumours appeared to have deepened the thriller of the lacking Baradar.
The hardline Islamist group launched photographs of a handwritten word from certainly one of Baradar’s deputies saying he was in Kandahar, then shared an audio message on Monday purporting to be from Baradar.
“There had been information within the media about my demise,” Baradar stated within the clip.
“Over the previous few nights I’ve been away on journeys. Wherever I’m in the intervening time, we’re all high quality, all my brothers and pals.
“Media at all times publish pretend propaganda. Due to this fact, reject bravely all these lies, and I 100% affirm to you there isn’t any subject and we now have no drawback.”
Rumours of clashes with Haqqani community
The denials observe days of rumours that supporters of Baradar had clashed with these of Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the Haqqani community that’s based mostly close to the border with Pakistan and was blamed for a few of the worst suicide assaults of the conflict.
The rumours observe hypothesis over doable 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 US.
The Taliban have repeatedly denied the hypothesis over inside divisions.
Baradar, as soon as seen because the seemingly 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 Overseas Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Kabul on Sunday.
Akhundzada, the motion’s supreme chief, has additionally not been seen in public because the Taliban seized Kabul on August 15, though he issued a public assertion when the brand new authorities was shaped final week.
Hypothesis over Taliban leaders has been fed by the circumstances surrounding the demise 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.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)