Taliban chief ‘likely killed’ in US drone hit

WASHINGTON:  Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was targeted and “likely killed” Saturday in a US drone strike in a remote area of Pakistan along the Afghan border, a US official said.

The airstrike, which was authorised by President Barack Obama, also killed a second adult male combatant as the two travelled in a vehicle southwest of the town of Ahmad Wal, but no civilians were killed.  “Mansour was the target and was likely killed,” the official said, speaking under the condition of anonymity.

Earlier, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the airstrike against Mansoor was carried out in a remote area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Mansoor “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,” the statement said.  “We are still assessing the results of the strike and will provide more information as it becomes available,” Cook said. AFP