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Taliban denies death of leader, Baradar


The Taliban has claimed that its leader, Baradar is in Kandahar province meeting with the group's supreme leader, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada to discuss Afghanistan's future now the US has withdrawn.

However, the social media rumour-mill believes he was actually killed in a gun battle in Kabul's presidential palace on Friday that broke out during a meeting with the powerful and ruthless Haqqani family.

The Taliban has so-far produced a handwritten note and an audio recording as evidence that Baradar is alive, which has only served to increase speculation further.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem released the audio recording on Monday.

In it, a man claiming to be Baradar accuses 'media propagandists' of spreading false rumours about him, insisting 'I and all my colleagues are OK'.

'There had been news in the media about my death,' Baradar said in the clip.

'Over the past few nights I have been away on trips. Wherever I am at the moment, we are all fine, all my brothers and friends.

'Media always publish fake propaganda. Therefore, reject bravely all those lies, and I 100 percent confirm to you there is no issue and we have no problem.'

The recording was posted to Twitter hours after a handwritten note was also circulated, insisted that Baradar is alive.

The note - which was not signed by Baradar but by a deputy, Mawlawi Musa Kaleem - denied there had been a shoot-out at the palace and said Baradar is in Kandahar.

Muhammad Suhail Shaheen, one of the group's most-senior spokesmen who is based in Kabul, also rubbished the rumours.

Daily Mail 

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