Taliban’s reclusive supreme leader attends gathering in Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) – The Taliban’s reclusive supreme leader Haibataullah Akhundzada joined a large gathering of nationwide religious leaders in Kabul on Friday, the state news agency said, adding he would give a speech.

The Taliban’s state-run Bakhtar News Agency confirmed the reclusive leader, who is based in the southern city of Kandahar, was attending the meeting of more than 3,000 male participants from around the country, aimed at discussing issues of national unity.

As the Islamist movement unveiled its interim government in September after U.S.-led forces withdrew, the mysterious Akhundzada retained the role he has held since 2016 of supreme leader, the group’s ultimate authority, but is rarely seen publicly.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield in Kabul; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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