Afghan leader hails ‘security’ in rare appearance to mark Eid

KANDAHAR: Afghanistan’s supreme chief appeared publicly for under the second time in six years on Sunday, telling worshippers celebrating Eid al-Fitr the Taliban had achieved freedom and safety since seizing energy final yr.

Speaking simply days after a bomb ripped via a mosque in Kabul, an environment of heightened safety surrounded the person launched as Hibatullah Akhundzada.

“Congratulations on victory, freedom and success,“ he told thousands of worshippers at the Eidgah mosque in the southern city of Kandahar, the hardline Islamist group’s de facto power centre.

“Congratulations on this security and for the Islamic system.”

While the variety of bombings throughout the nation has dropped since Kabul fell to the Taliban final August, assaults soared over the ultimate two weeks of the fasting month of Ramadan, which ended Saturday for Afghans.

Dozens of civilians have been killed within the primarily sectarian assaults — some claimed by the Islamic State group — focusing on members of the Shiite and Sufi Muslim communities. Friday’s bombing within the capital killed not less than 10.

Akhundzada delivered his transient deal with from one of many entrance rows of worshippers in Kandahar with out turning to face the gang, in accordance with social media posts. Taliban officers didn’t enable journalists to strategy him, an AFP correspondent reported.

Two helicopters hovered over the mosque for the entire of the two-hour occasion.

It was Akhundzada’s second identified public look since taking management of the Taliban in 2016.

In October, he had visited the Darul Uloom Hakimiah mosque in Kandahar, in accordance with an audio recording circulated by Taliban social media accounts.

– A reclusive determine –

Akhundzada’s low profile has fed hypothesis about his position within the new Taliban authorities, shaped after the group took management of Kabul on August 15 — and even rumours of his loss of life.

His public profile has largely been restricted to the discharge of messages throughout Islamic holidays, and Akhundzada is believed to spend most of his time in Kandahar.

On Friday, in a message launched forward of Eid al-Fitr, he made no point out of the bloodshed that had rocked Afghanistan over Ramadan, as an alternative praising the Taliban’s constructing of “a strong Islamic and national army” and “strong intelligence organisation”.

On Sunday, many Afghans most well-liked to remain indoors after the current lethal assaults.

“The situation of our people is very sad, especially after what happened in the mosques,“ Kabul resident Ahmad Shah Hashemi told AFP.

“Many young and old people have been martyred. The people of Afghanistan have nothing but sorrow.”

The deadliest assault throughout Ramadan was within the northern province of Kunduz, the place a bomb ripped via a mosque as a gaggle of Sufis carried out rituals.

At least 36 folks had been killed and scores extra had been wounded. No group has to date claimed that assault. – AFP

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