Afghan Taliban on Friday strongly denied claims over the death of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was seriously injured on Wednesday’s shootout in Western Pakistan.
The firefight took place near Quetta on Wednesday, killing five commanders and injuring more than a dozen, officials said.
Following the incident, the spokesperson for the Afghan First Vice President Sultan Faizi claimed that “Mansour was seriously injured. He was rushed to hospital and we are not sure if he survived his wounds.”
“Akhtar Mansour is among the injured, but the extent of his injuries is not clear,” he said.
The militants’ chief spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid denied his death on Friday saying that a voice record of him will be released soon to prove he is still alive.
“We have already put efforts into sending our men to get a voice recording of the emir himself in order to avoid the growing confusion and assure the people about his well-being,” Mujahid said.
According to Mujahid, the baseless claims aim to sow confusion among the people adding that “We still stick to our initial stance of denying all the rumours.”
Mujahid also said that normally the group would not choose to release a voice recording of their leader thus it can create security issues for the group, as the intelligence services is looking for any signal to detect their location.
“Bearing in mind the fact that releasing a voice recording can cause trouble or present security threats, which the intelligence agencies are waiting for, still we have dispatched our men to get to the emir and get his voice recording to avoid the present situation and growing confusion,” he said.
“Since the emir is located in a distant area, we have to be very careful to ensure his safety, and that’s why it is taking time to reach out to him,” he added.
“Nonetheless, we are trying to get his voice and will be releasing it as soon as we can.”
Following the death of former Afghan Chief Mullah Omar, Mansour took his place on July 31. However, his leadership had remained suspicious due to the group accusing him of covering up Omar's death.