WASHINGTON (Staff Report) – Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was killed along with another person, reported to be a civilian taxi driver, when US drones targeted his vehicle in Balochistan, near Quetta.
The Afghan intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) confirmed Mansour’s death in Pakistan’s Dalbandine area along Afghanistan border.
— NDS Afghanistan (@NDSAfghanistan) May 22, 2016
While talking to an Associated Press, top Taliban commander Abdul Rauf also confirmed the death of Mullah Mansoor. He, however, did not confirm other details of the airstrike.
The person killed along with Taliban chief has been identified as Muhammad Azam, who was driving Mansoor’s vehicle. His dead body was brought to a Quetta hospital and handed over to his family later on.
NBC News reported via senior defence official that the intelligence authorities were in the process of confirming whether Mansour had been killed.
The airstrike was carried out in a “remote” area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
Today DoD carried out a precision airstrike targeting Taliban leader Mullah Mansur. Another step to make our troops safer in Afghanistan
— Peter Cook (@PentagonPresSec) May 21, 2016
US State Department said that airstrike was carried out on President Barack Obama’s direction. The statement added that Pakistan and Afghanistan were taken into confidence about the airstrike.
Pakistani media reported that attack took place in Afghanistan territory but has not been confirmed by diplomatic and official sources. Some reports have claimed that Mansoor was on Pakistani side of border when the drone targeted him.
Mullah Mansoor became Taliban leader in July 2015, after the insurgent movement confirmed that founding supreme leader Mullah Omar had died in 2012.
He was reportedly resisting efforts by Afghanistan and Pakistan to bring him into peace negotiations with the Afghan government.