By Zabihullah Tamanna
KABUL (AA) – The Afghan Taliban on Wednesday confirmed the death of its chief Mullah Mansoor and announced Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada as the group’s new leader.
In a statement, the Taliban said Mansoor was targeted on May 21 by a U.S. drone strike in a border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“The loss of Mullah Mansoor has never weakened our resolve and commitment,” the group’s statement said. “History has shown that the Mujahidin have become stronger and have reiterated their commitment to fighting until the last drop of their blood.”
The Taliban said that following a lengthy discussion, the group has chosen Akhundzada as its new leader. The group also declared a three-day mourning period to commemorate Mansoor’s death.
According to the U.S. Defense Department, Mansoor had been “an obstacle to peace and reconciliation between Afghanistan and the Taliban by prohibiting Taliban leaders from participating in peace talks with the Afghan government”.