Achundsada in Kandahar: Taliban chief apparently appeared

Status: 10/31/2021 11:16 a.m.

After having gone underground for years, the supreme Taliban leader Achundsada is said to have appeared again in public. An audio clip is circulating from his speech in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The long-lost Taliban leader Haibatullah Achundsada is said to have appeared publicly in Afghanistan for the first time at the weekend, according to the militant Islamists. Achundsada gave a short speech in a Koran school in Kandahar province, Taliban spokesmen told several news agencies.

Audio clip of the leader

Supporters of the Islamists shared a ten-minute audio clip on social media, which is said to come from Achundsada’s appearance on Saturday evening, as confirmed by Vice Government Spokesman Inamullah Habibi Samangani and the head of information and culture of the Taliban in Kandahar, Hafiz Saidullah, who dpa confirmed. In the recording he asks for God’s blessing on the Taliban leadership. He prays for “Taliban martyrs”, injured fighters and the success of those in charge of the Islamic Emirates in this “great test”.

Achundsada belongs to the founding generation

The Taliban leader Achundsada bears the title of “leader of the believers”. After predecessor Mullah Mansur was killed in a US attack in 2016, Achundzada makes the final decisions on political, religious and military affairs for the Taliban.

The religious hardliner belongs to the founding generation of the movement. He is now around 60 years old. The fact that he had not appeared publicly even after the Talibs came to power in Afghanistan in August had fueled speculation about his death. The Taliban had stated that he had returned to Kandahar.

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