Taliban's Supreme Leader: Dead or Alive? | Daily News

Taliban's Supreme Leader: Dead or Alive?

Taliban Supreme Leader  Hibatullah Akhundzada
Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada

AFGHANISTAN: When the Taliban overran Kabul in mid-August, seizing power for the second time, the years-old mystery over the whereabouts of the movement's Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada deepened further.

Whether the elderly cleric is alive or dead is something many Afghans are uncertain about, and even the most dedicated analysts have doubts about who is really leading the group.

On October 30 -- two months after a Taliban spokesman insisted Akhundzada was alive and well in Kandahar -- rumours swirled in the southern city that the "emir" had delivered a speech at a Koranic school, or madrassa.Taliban officials gave their stamp of authenticity to his appearance at the Hakimia madrassa, releasing a crackling audio recording lasting more than 10 minutes.

According to snippets from his official biography, his rise was meteoric after the Taliban took power in Kabul in 1996.

After running the local madrassa, he became a judge at Kandahar provincial court, then head of the military court in Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan until 2000. - NDTV


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