Al-Qaida leader Zawahiri pledges allegiance to new Taliban chief

DUBAI - Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri pledged the group's allegiance to the new head of the Afghan Taliban, in an audio statement posted online, showing the organization's stance on his disputed accession.
"We pledge our allegiance ... (to) our lord, leader of the faithful, Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour, may god protect him," said Zawahiri, who is believed to be seeking refuge in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area that is the Taliban's base.
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