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Al Qaeda leader pledges allegiance to new Taliban chief

Al Qaeda leader pledges allegiance to new Taliban chief

Kabul: Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has pledged allegiance to the newly-appointed Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansoor, the media reported on Thursday.

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

Al-Zawahiri is believed to be seeking refuge in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area which also is the Taliban base, Khaama Press reported.

The pledge was issued by Al Qaeda's media arm Al Sahab and was Zawahiri's first message since September 2014.

His message of allegiance comes amid disputes among the Taliban leadership regarding the appointment of Mullah Mansoor as the successor of Mullah Mohammad Omar who was declared dead last month.

Taliban formally confirmed the death of Mullah Omar by issuing a statement around a week and later announced the Mullah Mansoor was appointed as the group’s new leader.

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