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Two top Taliban leaders ‘missing from public view’

Two top missing Taliban leaders from this view have raised questions in Afghanistan.

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Two top missing Taliban leaders from this view have raised questions in Afghanistan.

The top Taliban leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, has not been seen in public a month after the militants seized control of Afghanistan. A spokesperson has gone on the record to deny rumors of his death. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, one of the Taliban’s most recognized faces, has also gone missing. 

There have been rumors in Kabul that he had been killed or badly injured in a fight with another senior Taliban figure during an argument about how to divide Afghanistan’s ministries.

Videos and a photo also shared online, purporting to show Baradar in Kandahar, did not feature anything that could confirm when they were taken. Baradar was already considered to have lost out in the internal Taliban disputes over the formation of the new government, according to the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

Afghanistan Analysts Network also noted that Akhundzada’s absence from all public and private events, nearly a month after Kabul fell, suggested that he was no longer alive. The analysts noted that even the reclusive Mullah Omar made some public appearances, albeit not on video when he ruled the country. These included meeting foreign officials and giving radio statements and interviews.

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