Friday, January 27, 2023

Taliban's reclusive supreme leader appears, belying rumours of his death

Taliban's reclusive supreme leader appears, belying rumours of his death

KABUL (Reuters) – Taliban's reclusive supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, made a rare public appearance in the southern city of Kandahar, Taliban sources said on Sunday, belying widespread rumours of his death.

Akhundzada, known as the leader of the faithful or Amir ul Momineen, had not been seen in public even after the Taliban's August takeover of the country, giving rise to the speculation.

A senior Taliban leader who was present with Akhundzada during the appearance told Reuters the supreme leader had visited Jamia Darul Aloom Hakimia, a religious school in Kandahar on Saturday.

Though some officials say that Akhundzada has made unpublicised public appearances before, this was the first confirmed appearance of a man who has long kept a low public profile.