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Taliban quiet on Rabbani killing

The Taliban have refused to accept or deny responsibility for the assassination in Kabul of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, which has plunged the country into a deep political crisis.

world Updated: Sep 23, 2011 01:15 IST

The Taliban have refused to accept or deny responsibility for the assassination in Kabul of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, which has plunged the country into a deep political crisis.

On Tuesday the Taliban's spokespersons published a statement on their website refusing to discuss the incident and contesting an earlier report by the Reuters that said the Taliban accepted responsibility.

Their reticence to comment on the killing is in stark contrast to the aftermath of other spectacular attacks: the Taliban's PR department often feeds details to the media while operations are still ongoing.

Diplomats say it raises the possibility that Mullah Omar and other high-ranking Taliban leaders may not have approved, or even have been aware of, an operation conducted by a splinter or affiliated group linked to Pakistan's powerful military intelligence agency, the ISI, which has long-standing ties to militant groups.