A US drone strike in Pakistan may have resulted in the death of the leader of the Taliban, if confirmed it would be the second time in a year that the insurgent group has had its leader assassinated.
According to the Pakistani Government and confirmed by a US official, the US government failed to inform Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, prior to launching the strike and that the attack was a direct violation of its sovereignty.
The Afghan intelligence agency announced on Sunday that the Taliban commander, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, was killed in Saturday’s drone strike. However, the US announced that a strike occurred on Saturday but did not go so far as to confirm that the strike resulted in the death of Mullah Mansour. (Update: US confirms death)
Two bodies have been found at the locations of the strike, one was identified as a local taxi driver, the other was too charred to determine its identity but a passport found on location reportedly has a passing resemblance for Mansour despite being under the name Wali Mohammad
Despite not officially confirming Mansour’s death, reports from within the Taliban have indicated that the group met on Sunday to begin the process of succession, adding to the belief that the leader was actually killed in the drone strike.
The two of the most likely candidates for the position are considered to be Sirajuddin Haqqani, thought to be one of the most dangerous members of the group and responsible for last month’s attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed 64, and the found of the Taliban’s son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob.