Senior Afghan Taliban sources on Sunday confirmed the death of their chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike in Pakistan, adding a shura or council is underway to decide his successor.
Mullah Abdul Rauf, a senior Taliban commander, told the Associated Press earlier Sunday that Mansour was indeed killed in the drone strike.
President Obama authorized the strike in a remote area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Mansour was traveling in a vehicle when the strike occurred.
False rumors on the deaths of Taliban figures have circulated before. In December, the Afghan government said Mansoor had died after a gunfight. The Taliban later released an audio message from him in which he denied he had been killed.
Mansour was chosen to take the helm of the Afghan Taliban last summer after Omar’s death became public.