KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan Taliban has confirmed that its former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone strike last week and appointed a successor.
In a statement sent to media Wednesday, the insurgent group said its new leader is Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, one of two Mansour’s deputies. It said he was chosen at a meeting of Taliban leaders, which was believed to have been held in Pakistan.
Mansour was killed in Pakistan on Saturday when his vehicle was struck by a U.S. drone, believed to be the first time a Taliban leader was killed in such a way inside Pakistani territory.
Pakistani authorities are believed to support Taliban leaders in cities over the Afghan border. The insurgents have been fighting to overthrow the Kabul government since 2001.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.