Uncertainty deepens over Afghan Taliban leader

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By Jibran Ahmed PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Uncertainty over the fate of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour deepened on Friday, as speculation grew over a possible successor, despite repeated denials by the spokesman of the Islamist movement that he had been badly wounded in a gunfight. Several sources in the Taliban have said that Mansour, whose claim to the leadership is rejected by rival factions, was seriously wounded and possibly killed in a shootout at the house of another Taliban leader near Quetta in Pakistan on Tuesday. According to one senior Taliban commander, who said that Mansour had died of his wounds on Thursday, Sheikh Haibatullah Akhundzada, one of Mansour's two deputies, is poised to take over the leadership.