NEW: Top Taliban Leader Likely Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

U.S. Drone Strike
An Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial attack vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support in Afghanistan. on November 27, 2009. Photo: U.S. Air Force

AHMAD WAL, Pakistan, May 21 (UPI) — The U.S. military carried out a drone strike on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that appears to have killed Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook released a statement saying the military was still assessing the aftermath of the drone strike, but CBS News reports Mansour is likely among the dead.

Cook described Mansour as “actively involved with planning attacks against facilities in Kabul and across Afghanistan, presenting a threat to Afghan civilians and security forces, our personnel, and Coalition partners. [Mansour] has been an obstacle to peace and reconciliation between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, prohibiting Taliban leaders from participating in peace talks with the Afghan government that could lead to an end to the conflict.”

RTE reports the attack happened on a vehicle believed to be carrying Mansour on the Pakistan side of the border near the town of Ahmad Wal.

The drone strike was carried out by U.S. special forces and was authorized directly by President Barack Obama, the Pentagon said.


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