Afghan intelligence has confirmed that Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone strike Saturday.
Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) stated that Mansour was killed in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan in the southwest of the country. The Pakistani government responded with outrage that their sovereignty had not been respected.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook stated that the Taliban chief had been “likely killed” by the drone strike. NBC News pointed out that although the Pentagon would not go as far as the Afghans in confirming Mansour’s death, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, “repeatedly referred to Mansoor in the past tense on Sunday.”
According to Kerry, the deceased Taliban leader, “posed a continuing imminent threat.” Mansour had been in charge for just under a year, taking over in July 2015. The dead Taliban terrorist is the second leader in the organization’s history after founder Mullah Mohammed Omar.
The Taliban’s leadership council gathered Sunday to talk about who should take up the reins of the terrorist outfit, according to two Taliban sources who spoke with Reuters. Nevertheless, the Taliban has yet to officially confirm that their leader is dead. His death comes on the heels of revelations that Mullah Omar had been dead for two years. Mansour was elected chief after an emergency meeting in July 2015, and lasted all of almost a year before dying at the receiving end of an American ordnance, according to reports.
Mansour is thought to have just entered Pakistan after having traveled to Iran. The deceased Taliban chief had a passport on him with the name Wali Muhammad which contained a valid Iranian visa and a photo that resembled his appearance according to Reuters.
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