Washington – U.S. President, Barack Obama, on Monday confirmed that Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, had been killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan at the weekend.
Obama said in a statement in Washington that his death marked an important milestone in the longstanding effort of the American and coalition forces to bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan.
“With the death of Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor, we have removed the leader of an organisation that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and coalition forces.
“An organisation that wages war against the Afghan people, and align itself with extremist groups like al-Qaeda,’’ he said.
Obama urged the Taliban to engage in peace talks as the only path that leads to lasting peace and stability.
The Afghan Interior Ministry, described Mansoor’s death as a big blow to the Taliban, stressing that it would improve the country’s security situation.
Anders Rasmussen, the NATO secretary general, said Mansoor’s death created an opportunity for progress toward peace in Afghanistan.
He said Mansoor’s actions had led to the death and suffering of countless Afghan civilians and security forces.
U.S. and Afghan officials confirmed that Mansoor died in U.S. drone strike on his car near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in the Pakistani region of Baluchistan on Saturday.
Even though the Taliban denied that Mansoor was killed, it has not issued a statement since Sunday.
Mansoor assumed the Taliban leadership in August, after the announcement of the death of movement founder Mullah Mohammad Omar. (dpa/NAN)