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Son of Afghan Taliban Leader Dies Carrying Out Suicide Attack

FILE: The aftermath of a suicide attack in Helmand.
FILE: The aftermath of a suicide attack in Helmand.

The son of Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada died on July 20 carrying out a suicide attack in the embattled Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesman confirmed on July 22.

Abdur Rahman, 23, also known as Hafiz Khalid, died driving a vehicle filled with explosives into a large base of Afghan security forces in Gereshk district on the morning of July 20, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told dpa.

Taliban fighters drove three captured Humvee vehicles into checkpoints during heavy fighting around Gereshk on the same day.

Mullah Haibatullah became the leader of the Taliban after his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour died in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in May, 2016.

A government official said authorities are investigating the incident and cannot confirm that Haibatullah's son had been killed.

The Taliban already control about 80 percent of Helmand province, where thousands of hectares of poppy plants grow, earning the Taliban hundreds of millions of dollars from opium and heroin production.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters