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Mullah Rasoul group denies allegiance to Haibatullah

T1KABUL: A dissident Taliban group on Thursday opposed the appointment of MullahHaibatullah Akhundzada as the movement’s new leader.

Taliban supreme leader Mullah Akhar Mansour was killed in a drone strike raid on his car in Dalbandin area of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province five days ago.

Pakistan confirmed the death of Mansour on Thursday, after five days, and the Taliban confirmed the loss of their leader in a statement on Wednesday.

The Taliban said they had chosen Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new leader andMaulvi Sirajuddin Haqqani and Maulvi Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Mullah Mohammad Omar, have been elected as Akhundzada’s deputies.

But Mullah Rasoul group in a statement said: “After the death of Mullah Mansour, we called on all Taliban not to repeat past mistakes and appoint a new leader with complete consensus.”

The splinter group said the new leadership should be chosen based on suggestions and votes of ulema and all Taliban officials.

“But unfortunately the past mistakes were repeated again and the new leader was not appointed in a legal way and in line with Afghanistan tradition. Those who were present during the appointment of the new leader were already suspected to us,” the source said.

“We have chosen a moderate path by following ulemas’ and Sheikhs’ fetwas that guide us not to engage in internal fights but we would continue our efforts to defend the Afghan nation,” the group said. -Pajhwok


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