Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Web desk) – Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor has been appointed as new Amir (chief) of Afghan Taliban, Geo TV reported on Thursday.


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The Afghan Taliban Shura (Executives Council) has appointed Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor after the death of Mullah Omer.

New Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor previously served as the second-in-command of the movement.

Former chief and the movement’s founder, Mullah Omar led the militant group to victory over competing Afghan militias in the 1990’s after the withdrawal of Soviet troops.

The Taliban government was ousted after the US-led forces invaded Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda bombings in New York and Washington.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghanistan’s intelligence agency officials claimed that the reclusive former Taliban chief died two years ago at a hospital in Pakistan.

“Mullah Omar is dead,” said Haseeb Sediqi, a spokesman for the National Directorate of Security. “He died in a Karachi hospital in April 2013… under mysterious circumstances.”

A statement from the Afghan Presidential Palace later claimed: “The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan.”

“The government of Afghanistan believes that grounds for the Afghan peace talks are more paved now than before, and thus calls on all armed opposition groups to seize the opportunity and join the peace process.”

The United States also claimed that reports of Mullah Omar’s death appeared “credible”.

News of the former Taliban leader’s death came just two days before a second round of peace talks between the insurgents and Afghan government representatives which are expected to take place in Pakistan.

On July 7, The Afghan government conducted its first face-to-face talks with Taliban cadres supervised by American and Chinese representatives in the Pakistani hill station of Murree.