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U.S. Air Strike 'Likely Killed' Afghan Taliban Leader


Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansur in an undated handout photograph by the Taliban.

A U.S. official says that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur has been "likely killed" by a U.S. drone strike.

Pentagon officials described the attack to Reuters as as a "significant operation" against the Afghan Taliban.

Officials in Washington say U.S. President Barack Obama authorized the drone strike after intelligence was received about Mansur's location in the Afghan-Pakistan border region.

One U.S. official told reporters in Washington that Mansur and an adult male militant were targeted while they were traveling together in a car near the Pakistani town of Ahmad Wal, about 100 kilometers southwest of Quetta, Pakistan.

Mansur was declared the Taliban leader in July 2015, just days after the Afghan government confirmed that Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Mohammad Omar had died in the Pakistani port city of Karachi two years earlier.

But a leadership dispute immediately ensued with some Taliban commanders refusing to recognize Mansur.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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