Two high-ranking Taliban officials have vanished from public view. Their dissapearance has led Afghans to question whether the Taliban’s supreme leader and new deputy prime minister are still breathing. Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the top Taliban leader, has not been seen for over a month and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the prime minister, hasn’t been heard from in several days. Rumors have circulated in Kabul that Baradar may have been injured during a fight with another senior official over how Afghanistan’s ministries would be divided. In an attempt to put these rumors to bed, the Taliban released photos on Monday of a handwritten note supposedly from one of Baradar’s deputies relaying that he was in Kanadahar. They also released an audio message supposedly from Baradar himself, but the lack of current video has raised serious concerns.
The Crossroads of Special Operations