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Pakistani local residents gather around a burning vehicle hit by a U.S. drone strike, May 21, 2016. Afghan Taliban Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was the target of the drone near Dalbandin, Baluchistan, Pakistan. Image source: AFP

Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed the new chief of the group following the death of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, says the Taliban in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, a Pashto language statement was issued where the Taliban formally confirmed that Mansoor was killed in a U.S. drone attack last week.


“Maulvi Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) after a unanimous agreement in the shura (the supreme council), and all the members of shura pledged allegiance to him,” said the Taliban statement.


FILE – Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, leader of the Afghan Taliban, is seen in this undated handout photo from the Taliban. Credit:VOA

Mansoor was eliminated because he was blocking Afghan peace and reconciliation efforts, confirmed U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed on Monday.

Maulvi was a deputy to Mansoor along with Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the notorious Haqqani network and now he is the new Taliban Chief.

While Haqqani has retained his position, the son of the group’s founder- Mullah Yaqoob has been appointed as a second deputy to the new Taliban leader.

Time will say whether it is a coincident or not, but the Taliban announcement coincided with a suicide blast in Kabul that killed at least ten people. The early morning attack apparently targeted a vehicle carrying Afghan judiciary staff, officials said. There are no immediate claims of responsibility. (VOA)

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