KABUL, Afghanistan – The Afghan Taliban has issued a written statement purportedly quoting Jalaluddin Haqqani, the leader of the notoriously brutal Haqqani insurgent group, in an effort to quell rumors of his death.
The statement, posted Sunday to the Taliban's website, quoted Haqqani mourning the loss of Mullah Mohammad Omar, the one-eyed leader of the group whose death the extremists confirmed last week. The Afghan government says Mullah Omar died in April 2013.
The Taliban have announced that Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor is their new leader and released a purported audio statement from him Saturday. The statement released Sunday did not include any audio of Haqqani speaking to prove he is alive.
Rumors of Haqqani's death have circulated and been denied by militants for the past year.