“I’m well & alive,” Mansoor says in audio message
Last week, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah and other government sources claimed Mullah Mansoor was wounded as result of internal dispute during a meeting.
Some sources close to the militant movement disclosed to media outlets that the dreaded commander had succumbed to his grievous wounds and Mullah Haibatullah had been appointed as new leader of the group.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid spurned all these claims as fabricated. On Saturday, he released the audio message, in which the Taliban chief insisted he was neither wounded nor killed.
In the 16 minutes message, Mansoor called for the Taliban to stand united. “These rumours are false, a propaganda of the enemy against us. I am alive and healthy, living with friends,” he added.
Mansoor also rejected reports regarding his visit to the Kachlak neighbourhood of Quetta, where he was said to have been shot in an internal dispute.
He also denounced the Afghan forces for killing 10 civilians during mortar shelling in central Maidan Wardak province. He warned the “perpetrators” of revenge.
Mansoor maintained there were no differences among the Taliban that might trigger infighting among them. He lashed out at media outlets for lapping up at propaganda material and urged them to follow journalistic principles.
Attributed to him, the message says: "I have recorded this message to let everyone know that I am alive… I didn't have a fight with anyone, no meeting was held and I have not been to Kachlak in years."
Meanwhile, Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum’s spokesman Sultan Faizi, who claimed on Friday that Mansour had succumbed to his injuries, doubted the file’s authenticity.
He was unsure the audio message was from Mansoor, Faizi said in a new tweet. "We will carry out our assessment" of the tape, uploaded on the group’s official website.
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