Afghan Taliban deny reports about firing on leader

Islamabad, Dec 3 (IANS) An Afghan Taliban spokesman on Wednesday dismissed news that their chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour has been injured in a firing incident in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, saying it was propaganda by the Afghan intelligence.

Earlier, Sultan Faizi, the spokesman for the Afghan first vice president, said Mansour sustained injuries after a shootout caused by an argument between Taliban leaders during a meeting on Tuesday night, Xinhua reported.

There were also reports of the incident following a verbal dispute at a meeting of militant commanders in the Kuchlak area of Balochistan.

However, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, said that no incident had taken place in Kuchlak and that Mansour had been “far away from the area.”

“I have talked to the refugees in Kuchlak area who even denied any incident of firing,” the Taliban spokesman said.

Mujahid said that a new “newspaper in Kabul had earlier reported the news which is published by the Presidential Palace and the baseless information is providing by the Afghan intelligence NDS for propaganda.”

Meanwhile, sources in Pakistan quoted another Taliban leader as saying that no one knows Abdullah Sarhadi, who has reportedly opened firing in a meeting at his home, injuring several people including Mansour.

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