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Taliban co-founder Baradar challenges internal strife, denies being injured in clash

Asked about the rumors, Baradar said: “No, that is not true at all. Praise God I am fit and healthy. And with regard to the media claiming that we have internal disagreements, this is not true either.

“Praise be to God, we have a lot of kindness and mercy among us that don’t even exist in a family. In addition, for many years we have suffered and made sacrifices in order to end the occupation. It is neither for power nor for position. “

Baradar said he was traveling outside Kabul without having access to the media to refute this claim. “Therefore, we assure the Afghan nation and all senior and junior Mujahedin not to worry at all, there is nothing to worry about either,” he added.

Baradar was also asked why he had not met the Qatari foreign minister during his visit to Kabul on Sunday. Baradar was not seen accompanying Acting Afghan Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund when he met Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

“We didn’t know the foreign minister was from Qatar. If we had known, we would have postponed our trip. And we were traveling, so the meeting did not take place,” Baradar said.

“It was not possible for us to return from a trip to meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs. If we had received the news in advance, we probably would have joined other friends at the meeting.

Taliban officials said Baradar traveled to Kandahar, where the group’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, is believed to be based.

Baradar is the head of the Taliban’s political bureau and led the Doha negotiations with the former government and the United States. Some expected him to be appointed prime minister, but after lengthy negotiations over the form of the new government, Baradar was appointed deputy prime minister.

CNN’s Tim Lister contributed to this report.