The Taliban’s deputy prime minister Abdul Ghani Baradar has come out to deny reports he was killed in an alleged fight with a rival terrorist faction.
It was reported days back that the Islamist group had descended into bitter in-fighting following a dispute over the formation of the new government.
Baradar, a member of the Taliban old-guard who led negotiations with the Americans in Qatar, was thought to have been involved in a fight with Khalil Haqqani, a leader in the terrorist Haqqani Network and one of the FBI’s most-wanted, in Kabul’s presidential palace.
On Wednesday, Baradar appeared in an interview with the country’s national TV to rubbish the claims.
He said: ‘I was travelling from Kabul so had no access to media in order to reject this news.
‘I am OK and healthy. The media says that there is internal disputes. There is nothing between us, it is not true.’
Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s supreme leader, a close ally of Baradar, and Emir of the new government, has also not been seen in public for days.
The video was posted on Twitter by the Taliban’s political office in Doha and showed him next to an interviewer with a state television microphone, apparently reading from a sheet of paper.