Global News

Afghan Taliban appoint new leader after Mansour's death

Afghan Taliban appoint new leader after Mansour's death

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

"All the members of the leadership council pledged allegiance to the newly appointed leader", the statement continues, allegiance to the new leader is "a religious obligation", it said.

Haqqani, who has a $10 million US State Department bounty on his head, is the leader of the Haqqani terror network, long aligned with the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

On Tuesday, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the government can not confirm yet that the person killed in the incident in Balochistan was Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Mansour.

Wednesday's attack, along with the USA targeting of Mansur, signal little hope for peace prospects between the Taliban and Afghan government. The promotion: Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, a fifty-something judicial leader and spiritual authority who was chosen to succeed Mansour.

The world did not learn about the Taliban leadership of Mullah Akhtar Mansour for almost two years after he took command following the death of Mullah Muhammad Omar.

Largely unknown outside the movement, Haibatullah is a former Taliban chief justice and heads their religious Ulema council. "He is unlikely to negotiate peace with the Afghan government".

Taliban's new leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada is seen in an undated photograph, posted on a Taliban twitter feed and identified separately by several Taliban officials, who declined be named.

"No, no we will not come to any type of peace talks", the man, identified as Haibatullah Akhundzada, said in the recording provided by the Taliban's official spokesman.

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Mansour had led the Taliban since last summer, when the death of the movement's founder, the one-eyed Mullah Mohammad Omar became public. "This will pave the way for more splinter groups among the Taliban", he warned.

Speaking from Vietnam on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama said Mansour's death was an "important milestone" in the effort to bring peace to Afghanistan.

The surprise announcement coincided with a Taliban suicide bombing that targeted court employees near Kabul, killing 11 people in an assault that illustrated the potency of the insurgency despite the change of leadership.

The Taliban named its newest leader Wednesday, just days after US drone strikes killed former chief Mullah Mansur.

But he returned to his homeland in time to attend the meeting in the town of Spin Boldak in Kandahar in 1994 at which Omar declared the birth of the Taliban movement, according to the senior militant source.

"What's interesting is that Sirajuddin Haqqani was the choice of Pakistan, and Mullah Yakoub, he was the choice of the Taliban inside Afghanistan", Tom tells our Newscast unit.

The statement also called on all Muslims to mourn Mansour for three days, starting from Wednesday.

"He is a senior cleric and was the author of numerous decrees that Mansour used to provide religious cover for his actions", Semple says.


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