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Taliban offshoot rejects allegiance to new leader

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL:  A dissident Taliban group, led by Mullah Rasoul, rejected to pledge allegiance to the new appointed group’s leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, as it had denied Mullah Akhtar Mansour who came to lead the militants after the death report of the Taliban’s founder Mullah Omar in July.

Omar was the long-time leader of the Taliban outfit, who was died in one of hospital, in Pakistan.

“We call on all Taliban to excurse extreme caution while electing new leader. We should not repeat past mistakes,” Mullah Rasoul’s group said in a media statement. “We should appoint new leader based on complete consensus.”

The splinter group demanded that new Taliban head should be elected based on votes of Ulema and Taliban officials.

“Unfortunately, we could not avoid past mistake, as once again new leader appointed in illegal way accordance with Afghanistan tradition,” the statement added.

“Those were present during the appointment of the new leader, were already suspected to us.”

This comes soon after Taliban’s leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed in a drone strike on his car in Dalbandin area of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan provinces in the weekend.

Taliban appointed Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new leader, as Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mohammad Yaqoob, Mullah Omar’s son became his deputies.

Pakistan officially confirmed that Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed in a US drone strike in Balochistan.

Pakistan Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, during press briefing said that all indicators confirm that the person killed in the drone strike was Mansoor who was travelling on a fake identity when targeted in a drone strike in Balochistan.

A video footage showed by the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website indicates a group of Taliban commanders pledging loyalty to the newly named Taliban leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.

The video shows a group of turbaned and bearded men declaring alliance to Akhundzada and expressing their agreement with his appointment as the replacement of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.

It is not clear where or when the video footage was shot, and there was no immediate independent confirmation of the video’s authenticity. Moreover, Akhundzada was no appeared in the video shot.

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