KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Afghan authorities have confirmed that the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Akhtar Mansour, has been killed in a U.S. drone strike.
The National Directorate of Security, as the secret service is known, said in a statement that he was killed at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday. The statement, sent to The Associated Press on Sunday, says the attack took place in Baluchistan province, in southwestern Pakistan.
“The attack happened on the main road while he was in his vehicle,” it says.
It referred to “others” in the vehicle without further detail.
Earlier a senior Taliban commander told the AP that Mansour had been killed in the Noshki district, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is praising the killing of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Akhtar Mansour in a drone strike.
Kerry called for a post-Mansour Taliban to engage in serious peace negotiations with the Kabul government, saying, “It is time for Afghans to stop fighting and to start building a real future together.”
Meanwhile, the top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East says the killing of the Taliban’s supreme leader presents a difficult dilemma for the militants in Afghanistan.
Gen. Joseph Votel told reporters while visiting Jordan on Sunday that he is pleased that Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in an American drone strike.
He said it puts the Taliban on “the horns of a dilemma” as they seek to establish new leadership to replace Mansour.
Votel was in Jordan to observe a U.S.-Jordanian military exercise, following a surprise visit to Syria on Saturday.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW:
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