Taliban chief Mansour 'seemingly killed' in US drone strike

Taliban leader Mansour 'likely killed' in US drone strike
Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was focused and “seemingly killed” Saturday in a US drone strike in a distant space of Pakistan alongside the Afghan border, a US official mentioned.

The airstrike, licensed by President Barack Obama, additionally killed a second grownup male combatant as the 2 traveled in a automobile southwest of the city of Ahmad Wal, however no civilians have been killed, the official mentioned underneath situation of anonymity.

“Mansour was the goal and was seemingly killed,” within the strikes, which occurred round 6:00 am (1000 GMT) and have been carried out by a number of unmanned plane operated by US Particular Operations Forces, the official mentioned.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook dinner mentioned in an announcement that Mansour “has been the chief of the Taliban and actively concerned with planning assaults towards amenities in Kabul and throughout Afghanistan, presenting a menace to Afghan civilians and safety forces, our personnel, and Coalition companions.”

Mansour was appointed head of the Taliban in July 2015 following the revelation that the group s founder Mullah Omar had been lifeless for 2 years.

“For the reason that loss of life of Mullah Omar and Mansur s assumption of management, the Taliban have performed many assaults which have resulted within the loss of life of tens of hundreds of Afghan civilians and Afghan safety forces in addition to quite a few US and Coalition personnel,” Cook dinner mentioned.

Officers are nonetheless assessing the outcomes and can present extra data when out there, he added.

Preserve expectations in verify

Michael O Hanlon of the Brookings Establishment think-tank mentioned Mansour s loss of life might assist the US effort in Afghanistan “modestly.”

“The warfare has been occurring for thus lengthy, the Taliban has so many leaders and a lot capacity to perform on the native stage even with out sturdy central steering, that we might be effectively suggested to maintain expectations in verify,” he mentioned.

US lawmakers welcomed the information and a few referred to as on the Obama administration to take a firmer stand.

“I recognize President Obama for authorizing the assault,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham mentioned, including “I strongly encourage the Obama Administration to not withdraw troops till situations on the bottom allow their withdrawal.”

Republican Senator John McCain, head of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, mentioned he hoped “this strike towards the Taliban s prime chief will lead the administration to rethink its coverage of prohibiting US forces from focusing on the Taliban.”

A part of motion from begin

Born within the southern Afghan province of Kandahar someday within the early 1960s, Mansour was a part of the Taliban motion from its begin within the 1990s and has successfully been in cost since 2013, in accordance with Taliban sources.

He shuns public appearances. The few photos believed to be of him present a thickset man with the darkish beard and turban which might be nearly the uniform for senior Taliban cadres.

Mansour spent a part of his life in Pakistan, like tens of millions of Afghans who fled the Soviet occupation.

He succeeded Omar, the one-eyed warrior-cleric who led the Taliban from its rise within the chaos of the Afghan civil warfare of the 1990s.

“Mansur has been an impediment to peace and reconciliation between the federal government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, prohibiting Taliban leaders from collaborating in peace talks with the Afghan authorities that might result in an finish to the battle,” Cook dinner mentioned.

Along with preventing on the bottom and strain from all sides to barter, the Taliban additionally faces the problem of halting the growth of the Islamic State group in Afghanistan, which has been recruiting disaffected fighters.

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