Afghan Taliban deny issuing ‘no peace talks’ audio message of new chief

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KABUL: The official spokesman for the Afghan Taliban said on Wednesday that an audio tape purporting to be from newly named leader Haibatullah Akhundzada rejecting peace talks was not issued by him and was not from the new insurgent chief.
Earlier it was reported that Taliban’s newly appointed leader vowed there would be no return to peace talks with the government, in an audio recording provided by the group days after a U.S. drone killed his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in Pakistan.
"No, no we will not come to any type of peace talks," a man said in the recording.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid Mujahid later issued an email from his official account denying the movement had issued an audio.
Reached by telephone, Mujahid said the Taliban were launching an investigation to learn who was distributing the recording.

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