By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour has been killed in a strike launched by the US drones on Pakistani soil, Afghan and US officials said on Sunday.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS), spy agency of Afghanistan, in a statement confirmed the death of Mansour.
It said that Mansour was killed in an air strike at 3:45pm Saturday in Dalbandine area of Pakistan’s province of Balouchistan.
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah also confirmed Mansour’s death, saying he was killed by a US drone strike.
“Following anti-terrorist operations, the US forces conducted an operation targeting Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s vehicle out of the border of Afghanistan on Pakistan soil in which he was killed,” Abdullah said.
Mansour took the insurgent group’s leadership after the death of the militants’ founder Mullah Omar was leaked in July.
Abdullah said that Mansour was a barrier for peace process, even he continued to attacks against Afghan people after announcing peace process.
“Mullah Akhtar Mansour had directly linked with different terrorist groups, his killing will cause a big change among Taliban and it will negatively impact over Taliban capability.”
Meanwhile, a statement issued by presidential office, confirmed the targeting of Taliban leader through an operation by drone strike conducted by US forces.
“Mullah Akhtar Mansour repeatedly rejected Afghan government and people demands regarding end of war and peaceful end of violence in the country,” the statement said.
“Mullah Akhtar Mansour by seeking shelter in stranger’s [on foreign] soil always involved in terror, killing of innocent Afghan people, hiding of facts, smuggling of narcotics and preventing of Afghanistan development.”
This incident is a chance for the Taliban to stop killing of innocent people and return home from foreign lands and join peace process leading by Afghans, insisted the statement.
Government also emphasized that Afghan forces are well prepared to fight against those who fighting against Afghan people under leading of strangers.
Political Expert Ahmad Saeedi pointing to the incident of targeting of Taliban leader by US drone said that US expected Pakistan to follow its commitments made in the QCG process and bring Taliban to dialogues, but Pakistan did not fulfill its commitments in this regard.
Secondly, Pakistan did not surrender to all pressures imposed by US government as recently US intelligence chief said that Taliban are in Pakistan, but Pakistan government rejected this claim and said that Taliban are in Afghanistan.
US force targeted Mansour in Pakistan to show that Taliban are in Pakistan and secondly US by this incident wanted to warn Pakistan that if the US plans to target Taliban they will operate against all international norms and will target them in Pakistan soil as well.
Targeting of Mullah Mansour is a big achievement, although another leader will be assigned for Taliban.
Although killing of Mansour will impact over Pakistan, but war will not decrease because plotter of war is Intern Intelligence Service (ISI) of Pakistan Taliban are only wood of fire
Likewise, a statement by the Pentagon said that the Department of Defense conducted an airstrike that targeted Taliban leader Mullah Mansur in a remote area of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region. Mansur has been the leader of the Taliban and actively involved with planning attacks against facilities in Kabul and across Afghanistan, presenting a threat to Afghan civilians and security forces, our personnel, and coalition partners. Mansur has been an obstacle to peace and reconciliation between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, prohibiting Taliban leaders from participating in peace talks with the Afghan government that could lead to an end to the conflict.
Taliban are yet to comment on the incident.