Taliban names new leader to replace Mansour

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.

Taliban-names-new-leader-to-replace-Mansour
The Taliban on Tuesday announced religious scholar Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada will replace Mullah Akhtar Mansour, confirming Mansour was killed in a US drone strike. Mansour replaced group founder Mullah Mohammad Omar just a year ago, which has spurred much infighting. Photo by Oleg Zabielin/ Shutterstock

The Islamic militant group named Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada to replace Mansour, who replaced the group’s founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar, just last year.

Akhundzada was a Taliban deputy leader and religious scholar who formerly ran the Taliban courts.

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

UPI NEWS