Afghan Taliban confirm death of Mansour is US drone strike, appoint Haibatullah Akhundzada as new leader

Kabul: In a report, the Afghan Taliban confirmed the death of their chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike and named Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new supremo.

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

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As per reports, the leader was chosen by the Taliban’s supreme council during a meet which was held at an undisclosed location in Pakistan. At the meet, Mullah Yakoub and Sirajuddin Haqqani, sons of the Taliban founder Mulla Omar were appointed as the deputies of Akhundzada.

Confirming the same, a senior Taliban source in the northwest Pakistan said, “Yakoub has refused to accept the role, saying he is too young for it. Mansour’s deputy and operational head of the Haqqani network, Sirajuddin Haqqani, has also refused due to personal reasons.”

Previously, Haibatullah Akhundzada was Mansour’s deputy.

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Mullah Akhtar Mansour died in an airstrike on Saturday in the isolated area of Pakistan’s western Balochistan province.