Afghan Taliban Announces New Leader


Kabul: The Afghan Taliban have announced a new leader to replace Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed in a US drone strike.

In a statement, the Taliban acknowledged Mansour’s death for the first time and named his successor as Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada.

Mansour was killed in a strike on his car in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Saturday.

Mansour assumed the leadership in July 2015, replacing Taliban founder and spiritual head Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada was one of the Afghan Taliban’s deputy leaders.

In Wednesday’s statement, the Taliban said Mullah Mohammad Yaqub, son of Mullah Omar, would become a joint deputy head of the movement, alongside current deputy leader Sirajuding Haqqani.