June 11, 2016
The leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has reportedly pledged allegiance to the new Taliban leader in Afghanistan.
Zawahri pledged assistance to Haibatullah Akhundzada — the new leader of Taliban — in a 14-minute online audio message on Saturday, the report said.
The authenticity of the recording, however, could not be immediately verified.
Zawahiri rose to the position of al-Qaeda’s top leader after the terrorist group’s then-leader, Osama bin Laden, was killed in Pakistan by US forces in 2011. He is believed to be hiding in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.
Akhundzada was picked the Taliban’s leader, when former ringleader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in an American drone attack in a remote border area inside Pakistan on May 21.
Al-Qaeda has recently been seeing defections to the Daesh terrorist group. Some Afghan militant commanders have left the Taliban to pledge allegiance to Daesh, which mainly operates in Iraq and Syria, but has recently gained a foothold in Afghanistan.
On Saturday, Afghan officials said six police officers, including a district police chief, were killed and six more wounded by Daesh-linked terrorists in the eastern Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan.
A spokesman for the provincial governor, Attaullah Khogyani, said militants attacked administrative headquarters in the Haska Mina district.
He said 15 of the assailants were also killed and seven more injured in the exchange of fire that followed.
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