News - Afghanistan
President Ashraf Ghani said on Monday afternoon that there is no evidence to prove the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour is dead.
Speaking at a press conference, Ghani said: "There is no evidence that Mullah Mansour might have been killed. The incident that occurred must be carefully studied," Ghani said referring to the reported clash between two Taliban factions in Quetta, Pakistan last week.
Rumors have been circulating since last Tuesday over the demise of the group's leader. However, the Taliban has denied the claims and instead released an audio tape over the weekend that was purportedly made by Mullah Mansour.
Meanwhile CEO Abdullah Abdullah said on Monday that there is a bigger likelihood of him having been injured than killed.
"We heard the rumors about Mullah Mansour, one of the Taliban leaders, but there is a bigger chance that he was injured and not killed but this shows that there is conflict within the Taliban," he said.
The presence of Taliban leaders in Pakistan is an issue that the CEO considers to be part of external efforts working against the people of Afghanistan.
"In the location where the incident (reported Taliban clash) took place is out of Afghanistan and is in Quetta in Pakistan and this is another aspect of actions against the people of Afghanistan. And we hope those who really think about Islam, people and their country learn from these incidents," Abdullah said.
Following reports of Mullah Mansour's rumored fate, the Taliban released an audio tape claiming he was alive. The person introduced himself as Mullah Akhtar Mansour in the tape and said that reports about his injury and death in Quetta was propaganda on the part of the Taliban's "enemy".
But one MP, Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanafi said this once again proves that Pakistan plays a role in Taliban's formation and structure in Afghanistan.
Mullah Mansour was elected leader of the Taliban in August following the announcement of former leader Mullah Omar's death two years earlier. However, reports indicate a major rift within the group with a number of top leaders denouncing Mullah Mansour and pledging allegiance to Mullah Rassool. It is these two factions that have reportedly been involved in heavy clashes with each other in recent weeks.
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