Confusion Surrounds the Fate of Afghan Taliban Leader

Confusion Surrounds the Fate of Afghan Taliban Leader
Fri Dec 4, 2015 17:47:09

The leader of the Taliban leader may have been shot during a Yesterday firefight as an argument broke out between commanders of the divided movement.

Today confusion surrounds the fate of Mullah Akhtar Mansour after an Afghan government spokesman tweeted that he is dead.

Intelligence officials says that Mansour was critically wounded in a shootout at an insurgent gathering near the Pakistani city of Quetta.

A government spokesman today went further, claiming Mansour did not survive the clash.

'Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour died of injuries,' Sultan Faizi, the spokesman for the Afghan first vice president, wrote on Twitter without citing any evidence.

"A Taliban spokesman rejected the claim as 'baseless', and said Mansour was alive and well. The group kept longtime chief Mullah Omar's death secret for two years."

The mystery surrounding the fate of Mansour further deepened after the Taliban released an audio clip yesterday purportedly from the militant at whose house the firefight is said to have occurred.

A man claiming to be Abdullah Sarhadi, a commander in Mansour's group and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, staunchly rejected the reports as 'enemy propaganda'.

There was no independent verification of the file, which raised the question of why the Taliban has not yet released an audio or video clip from Mansour himself to bolster their claim,daily Mail reports.

This image is said to show leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who was reportedly shot in a firefight during an argument with commanders of the divided movement.

The reported clash, which exposes dissent within the Taliban's top ranks, comes just four months after Mansour was appointed leader in an acrimonious leadership succession.

If confirmed, his death could intensify the power struggle within the fractious group and increase the risk of internecine clashes.

Mansour was declared Taliban leader on July 31 after the insurgents confirmed the death of Mullah Omar, who led the group for about two decades.

Mullah Omar

But splits immediately emerged in the group, with some top leaders refusing to pledge allegiance to Mansour, saying the process to select him was rushed and even biased.

Mullah Mohamed Rasool

A breakaway faction of the Taliban led by Mullah Mohamed Rasool was formed last month, in the first formal split in the once-unified group.

Afghan officials on Wednesday confirmed reports that Rasool's deputy, Mullah Dadullah, was killed last month in a gunfight with Mansour loyalists.

Rasool's hardline faction, reported to be aligned to the ISIS group, also poses a major challenge to Afghanistan.

Mullah Mohamed Rasool Loyalist


string(196) "[{"id":"1765636","sort":"3453318","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/12/02/alalam_635846798141028535_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Afghan Taliban Leader Seriously Injured in a Dispute Meeting Firefight"} ]"