Pakistan confirms Mullah Mansour’s death in drone strike

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday confirmed the death of Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, in a drone strike conducted last week in the province of Balochistan.

The information was confirmed by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz.

“All clues point to the fact that the person who was killed in the drone strike is Mullah Mansour,” confirmed the adviser to the PM on foreign affairs.

Aziz added they are also waiting for the DNA test report.

“The body will not be handed over till we get the DNA report.”

The adviser on foreign affairs was of the opinion that after the death of Mullah Omar, this is the second time the Afghan peace process has been stalled due to Afghan Taliban chief’s death.

New Afghan Taliban chief

A spokesman of the Afghan Taliban on Wednesday confirmed the death of the group’s chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike.

In a statement sent to media Wednesday, the insurgent group said its new leader is Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, a former head of the Taliban’s judiciary and one of two Mansour’s deputies.

It said he was chosen at a meeting of Taliban leaders.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a network blamed for many high-profile bombs attacks in Kabul in recent years, and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, will serve as deputies, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main spokesman, said in the statement.

Both of the new deputies had earlier been thought to be the main contenders for the top job.

Mansour was reported killed in Pakistan on Saturday when his vehicle was struck by a US drone, believed to be the first time a Taliban leader was killed in such a way inside Pakistani territory.

The US and Afghan governments had stated Mansour had been an obstacle to a peace process that had ground to a halt when he refused to participate in peace talks earlier this year. Instead, he intensified the war in Afghanistan, now in its 15th year.

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