Haibatullah Akhundzada has not been seen in public for a long time, and his whereabouts are unknown.
Several unconfirmed media reports suggested that there was a tussle between two Taliban factions during the government formation talks held at the Afghan presidential palace. There was also gunfighting that took place between the warring groups. Mullah Baradar and the Haqqani network engaged in a bloody fight to control the militia. Since then, two prominent faces of the Taliban, Mullah Akhundzada, head of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, and deputy PM Mullah Baradar have not been seen in public, triggering rumors that they may have been killed in the power struggle.
The Taliban has rejected the claim and said that both of them are alive. The spokesperson of Baradar released an audio message, purporting to be from Baradar, and dismissed the claim that he was killed. A report by UK-based The Spectator said that it is doubtful that both of them are alive and remain secluded for so long. However, there has been no confirmation from any credible sources, and hence we mark the claim as unverifiable.