MOSCOW (Sputnik) – US and Afghan officials said Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed mid-Saturday in a drone strike on a vehicle he was occupying en route to the Pakistani city of Quetta, Balochistan province. Mansour was picked to replace Taliban's previous leader in mid-2015.
Zabiullah Mujahid, one of two Taliban’s spokesmen, issued a Pashto-language statement via Twitter in which he said "May Allah have mercy" on Mansour.
The accompanying statement named Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada as the Taliban's new leader, and Sirajudddin Haqqani and Mullah Yaqoob as two of his deputies. Akhundzada is an Islamic religious scholar who headed the group's Sharia courts and is responsible for issuing most of Taliban's fatwas. His predecessor led the militants for less than a year. Yaqoob is the son of Mullah Omar, the founder of the extremist group, who was killed last year.