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New Chief Is 'Ideal' Taliban Leader, Analyst Says

The Taliban’s new chief, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, has a reputation as a respected religious scholar with the title "sheikh-ul-hadith," a specialist in interpreting the words of Mohammad, the prophet of Islam. He enjoyed the esteem and trust of the Taliban’s founding leader, Mullah Omar, who turned to him for a final say on important and potentially sensitive edicts and fatwas, according to Thomas Ruttig of the Afghanistan Analysts Network. Haibatullah also comes from a...

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