Haibatullah Akhundzada ...
said the body of their slain chief was taken to Afghanistan on Tuesday and he was laid to rest in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar.
Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada, believed to be around 60 years of age and a member of the powerful Noorzai tribe, hails from Kandahar a southern province of Afghanistan. He was considered as close aide to the Taliban’s founding leader Mullah Omar.
While this time the supreme council of Afghan Taliban was quick enough to name its new chief and confirm the killing of its leader Mullah Mansour , took it years to pronounce the death of their founder chief Mullah Mohammad Omar who reportedly died in 2013. The Taliban have confirmed his death in the year 2015 and ultimately appointed Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour in the last week of July 2015. However, Mullah Mansour faced opposition from the very first day from a group of Taliban including the family members of his predecessor Mullah Umar who think his appointment was not made according to Shariah.
Meanwhile,the official spokesman for the Afghan Taliban said on Wednesday that an audio tape purporting to be from newly named leader Haibatullah Akhundzada rejecting peace talks was not issued by him and was not from the new insurgent chief.
Earlier it was reported that Taliban’s newly appointed leader vowed there would be no return to peace talks with the government, in an audio recording provided by the group days after a U.S. drone killed his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in Pakistan.
“No, no we will not come to any type of peace talks,” the man, identified as Haibatullah Akhundzada, said in the recording provided by the Taliban’s official spokesman.
Taliban commanders had provided the audio to reporters late on Wednesday, saying it was an official statement. One of the commanders said he had received the recording directly from Zabihullah Mujahid, the official spokesman who earlier announced Akhundzada’s elevation. Mujahid later issued an email from his official account denying the movement had issued an audio.
Reached by telephone, Mujahid said the Taliban were launching an investigation to learn who was distributing the recording.