KABUL: Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada has reinforced his position as the new leader of the group by winning the support of two senior members, the Taliban said on Saturday. Taliban on their website said that former Taliban interior minister Mullah Abdul Razaq Akhund and Mullah Abdul Sata Akhund pledged their full support to Akundzada during a meeting of Taliban scholars at an undisclosed location on Friday. Akhundzada replaced former Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansour in May who was killed by a US drone strike. Senior members of the group hope Akhundzada will be able to bring disparate factions of the group together and repair the splits that emerged last year when Mansour was appointed. Meanwhile, Afghan security forces have struggled to hold off Taliban fighters, who are estimated to control more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since the 2001 US invasion.