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Taliban confirm Mansour’s death, appoint new leader

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Taliban confirmed the killing of their leader Mullah Akhtar Masnour, announcing Haibatullah Akhundzada as new leader for the group.

Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that Mansour was killed on Saturday in a US drone strike in an area between Registan area of Kandahar and Noshki of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

“The Islamic Emirate Leadership Council appointed Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada as the new leader,” Mujahid said in a statement.

He said that a council of the senior Ulema termed Akhundzada qualified for the leadership.

Sarajudin Haqqani and son of Mullah Omar, Yaqoub, have been appointed as deputies for the new leader.

Taliban called Mansour’s killing a big tragedy, but said it would not return Taliban from their resistance and combat.

President’s deputy spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi called on Taliban to use the opportunity and join peace process.

“Those Taliban who reject peace dialogue, will have same fate like their late leaders in strangers’ soil.”

Experts believe that Taliban are wood of fire for some countries and figures are used as dices, war policies of Taliban will be not changed by losing leaders.

Political and Military Expert General Wahed Taqat said that those working in the favor of CIA and ISI will be protected and those show interest to peace, will be killed, as Mullah, Mullah Brother and Mullah Mansour were killed for their peace-loving views.

According to reports, Akhundzada is between 50-60 years old, who first was military court head and later during US troops raid to Afghanistan assigned as chief justice for Taliban and since last year operating as deputy of Taliban Leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour.

He is from Kandahar province and belongs to the Noorzai tribe.

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