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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Afghan Taliban announce successor to Mullah Mansour

The Afghan Taliban has named Haibatullah Akhunzada as the successor of Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed in a U.S. drone strike at the weekend.
Akhunzada had served as one of Mansour's deputies and had been named in a United Nations report last year as the Taliban's former chief justice. 

He is an Islamic legal scholar. 

Sirajuddin Haqqani who heads the dreaded Haqqani network, and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, will serve as deputies.

The Taliban made this announcement, following a meeting of its main shura, which also confirmed the death of Mansour in a drone strike in Pakistan on May 21.

The Shura pledged allegiance to Sheikh Haibatullah and said All people are required to obey the new Emir-al-Momineen or commander of the faithful.

Almost coinciding with the announcement a suicide attack on a bus carrying staff from an appeal court killed at least 11 people and wounded four on Wednesday close to Kabul.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that the attack on staff from the judicial system was in response to the Afghan government's decision earlier this month to execute six Taliban prisoners on death row and warned that other attacks would follow. 

President Ashraf Ghani had decided to execute prisoners on death row as part of a tougher policy toward the Taliban. 

While the Interior ministry says 11 people were killed in Wednesday's attack, the Taliban puts that figure at 22 people killed or wounded.

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