Taliban denies death of leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor
KABUL (92 News) – The Afghan Taliban denied the rumored death of its leader by issuing an audio message on Sunday.
In a new audio message, a voice said to be that of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor said that he was not present during a gunfight with rivals in Pakistan on Tuesday. Mullah Mansoor said that there was no truth to the rumors that he was injured or killed,” adding that the reported incident never happened.” “That incident never happened, this is enemy propaganda … I haven’t seen Kuchlak in years,” said the voice.
Splits subsequently emerged among the insurgents, with some commanders saying Mansour’s selection had been biased. They accused him of covering up Mullar Omar’s death. A breakaway faction was formed last month, reportedly led by Mullah Mohamed Rasool, resulting in internal clashes last month that left dozens of people dead.
It would be the first formal division in the once unified Taliban group which has pressed attacks on Afghan forces since major pullbacks by a US-led coalition which for years has backed the Kabul government.
Multiple reports earlier this week said Mansoor had been badly wounded in a shootout during a gathering at the home of another Taliban commander at Kuchlak in western Pakistan on Tuesday.