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New Afghan Taliban leader vows no peace talks in audio recording

Taliban new leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is seen in an undated photograph, posted on a Taliban twitter feed on May 25, 2016, and identified separately by several Taliban officials, who declined be named. Social Media via Reuters

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The Afghan Taliban’s newly appointed leader on Wednesday vowed there would be no return to peace talks with the government, in an audio recording provided by the group days after a U.S. drone killed his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in Pakistan.

“No, no we will not come to any type of peace talks,” the man, identified as Haibatullah Akhundzada, said in the recording provided by the Taliban’s official spokesman.

Reuters could not independently verify the voice was that of Akhundzada or when it was recorded.

Reporting by Saud Mehsud; Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Mike Collett-White