Global Independent Analytics

Taliban leader Mullah Mansour killed in airstrike, White House confirms

The drone strike occurred in the area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at 6 in a morning, said the US official.

Nic Robertson and Jamie Crawford report for CNN: Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was killed in an airstrike Saturday in Pakistan, the White House confirmed on Monday.

The drone strike occurred in the area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at 6 in a morning, said the US official.

President Obama said in a statement: "We have removed the leader of an organization that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and Coalition forces, to wage war against the Afghan people, and align itself with extremist groups." 

The official said Mansour was not alone in a car which was a target of the strike, the second man was also killed.

The U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel said at the conference in Amman: "Mansour played a key leadership role in not only orchestrating the Taliban but orchestrating a variety of other organizations to include the Haqqani Network and al Qaeda who were perpetrating operations against not only U.S. forces but coalition forces and Afghan forces for a long period of time. He's an individual who has been in that structure for a long time. I'm glad he's gone."

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, said Mansour "was directly opposed to peace negotiations."

At a news conference in Myanmar,  Kerry said: "This action sends a clear message to the world that we will continue to stand with our Afghan partners as they work to build a more stable, united, secure and prosperous Afghanistan. It is time for Afghans to stop fighting and to start building a real future together."

Then he added that the U.S. had notified Pakistan's government of the strike. 

"We have had longstanding conversations with Pakistan and Afghanistan about this objective with respect to Mullah Mansour, and both countries' leaders were notified of the airstrike," he said. "And it is important for people to understand that Mullah Mansour, as I said a moment ago, has been actively involved in planning attacks in Kabul, across Afghanistan, presenting a threat to Afghan civilians and to the coalition forces that are there."

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

 

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