Afghan Taliban announce successor to Mullah Mansour

Afghanistan, May 25: The Afghan Taliban have announced a new leader to replace Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed in a US drone strike.

In a statement, the Taliban acknowledged Mansour’s death for the first time and named his successor as Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada.

Little is known of the direction he will take the militants but analysts say he is an uncontroversial choice.

Last year the Taliban were plunged into turmoil when Mansour replaced the group’s founder Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Mansour was killed in a strike on his car in Pakistan’s Balochistan province on Saturday. The US and Afghan governments said he was an obstacle to the thorny peace process between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities. Indeed under his stewardship militant attacks escalated and became more daring.

Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, a religious scholar and former head of the Taliban courts, was one of the Afghan Taliban’s deputy leaders. BBC