Taliban Announce New Leadership
- VOA News,August 1, 2015
The Afghan Taliban announced Friday that its 'shura' or supreme council has chosen Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as the new chief of the Afghan insurgent group a day after confirming reports of the death of its founder, Mullah Omar.
Friday's announcement in Pashto language was emailed to VOA by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. The new leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor served as deputy to Mullah Omar and was the head of the Taliban's political and military affairs.
The announcement also said that Maulvi Haibatullah Akundzada and Maulvi Sirajuddin Haqqani have been appointed as deputies to Mansoor.
Sirajuddin Haqqani has long headed the so-called Haqqani network, a militant group aligned with the Taliban and based in North Waziristan, one of Pakistan’s tribal regions along the Afghan border. The network has been blamed for many of the deadliest attacks against coalition forces and the Afghan government during the war.
Taliban sources identified Maulvi Haibatullah Akhunzada as the former head of courts during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan before 2001