Taliban chief Mansoor targeted in US airstrike

The United States on Saturday conducted an airstrike targeting Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor in a remote area along border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Pentagon confirmed.

The results of the strike are still being assessed, according to a statement from Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook. Broadcaster CNN, citing a US government official, said the radical Islamist was probably killed.

Since Mansoor officially assumed leadership of the Taliban in 2015 after the death of Mullah Omar, "the Taliban have conducted many attacks that have resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and Afghan security forces as well as numerous US and coalition personnel," Cook said.

Later on Twitter, Cook called the precision strike from an unmanned drone "another step to make our troops safer in Afghanistan."

According to experts, more than 100 of Afghanistan's 400 precincts are either under Taliban control or remain contested.

In 2015 the number of civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan topped 11,000, according to the United Nations. It was the highest number since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001. Most were victims of armed groups.

On Friday, NATO decided to extend its Resolute Support mission, comprised of 12,000 troops from 39 countries, in Afghanistan into 2017.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25
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