New Taliban chief welcomes Al Qaeda’s pledge of loyalty

Kabul, Aug 15 (IANS) New Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mohammed Mansour has welcomed the recent pledge of allegiance by Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to the group, the media reported on Saturday.

Mansour who recently took over the reins of the Taliban, said in a statement on Friday, “I… accept the pledge of allegiance of the esteemed (Ayman al-Zawahiri)… and thank him for his pledge and pledge of all mujahideen under him,” Khaama press reported.

Al Zawahiri who is believed to be seeking refuge along the Afghan-Pakistan border, announced his allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour last week and accepted him as his Emir (Islamic leader).

“We pledge our allegiance… (to) our lord, leader of the faithful, Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour, may god protect him,” Al-Zawahiri’s said in an online message.

Taliban announced Mullah Mansour as the successor of Mullah Mohammad Omar after his death was confirmed by the militant group last month.

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