Taliban-names-new-leader-to-replace-Mansour. KABUL, Afghanistan, The Taliban on Tuesday announced a new leader to replace Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike.
The Islamic militant group named Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada to replace Mansour, who replaced the group’s founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar, just last year.
Mansour was killed in a drone strike on his car in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Saturday. Mansour was seen as obstacle to peace negotiations in Afghanistan and as a militant who only escalated attacks.
The rise of Mansour was seen by experts as something of a coup, which has since lead to heavy infighting between the group’s factions. But Akhundzada carries with him largely religious credentials and was the man who issued fatwas justifying various operations.
By Shawn Price