KABUL – Pressure mounted on the Afghan Taliban Saturday to offer proof of life for their leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour after sources said he was critically wounded in an internal clash that signalled dissension in top insurgent ranks.
Vehement denials by the group of any firefight have fallen on sceptical ears, especially after they kept the death of longtime chief Mullah Omar secret for two years. Speculation about Mansour’s fate reached a fever pitch after unconfirmed media reports on Friday claimed that he had died, even as the group vowed to release an audio message from the leader to prove otherwise.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid acknowledged it would take some time to provide evidence that Mansour was still alive. “Our supreme leader is in a faraway place where only a few trusted commanders can reach him,” Mujahid told AFP. “We are trying to get an audio message from him soon,” he said.
NEO Monitoring Desk