Taliban supreme leader makes first public appearance since 2016


Staff member
Taliban supreme leader makes first public appearance since 2016
Reclusive Akhundzada addresses his ‘brave soldiers and disciples’ at Kandahar madrassa; no photos or video of event, but audio recording shared on social media
31 October 2021

KABUL — Taliban Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada addressed supporters in the southern city of Kandahar, officials announced Sunday, his first public appearance since taking control of the group in 2016. Akhundzada has been the spiritual chief of the Islamist movement since 2016 but has remained a reclusive figure, even after his group seized power in Afghanistan in August. His low profile has fed speculation about his role in the new Taliban government — and even rumors of his death. On Saturday, he visited the Darul Uloom Hakimah madrassa to “speak to his brave soldiers and disciples,” according to Taliban officials. There was tight security at the event and no photographs or video have emerged, but a 10-minute audio recording was shared by Taliban social media accounts.

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