President Barack Obama confirmed in a statement today the death of Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansur a.k.a. Mullah Mansur.
Obama said that the terrorist’s death marks an important milestone in America’s longstanding effort to bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan.
With his death, Obama said, we have removed the leader of an organization that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and Coalition forces, to wage war against the Afghan people, and align itself with extremist groups like al Qa’ida.
Earlier, the U.S. Defense Department had conducted an airstrike Saturday targeting Mansur in a remote area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, according to a statement issued by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.
But the statement had not confirmed the death of the terrorist. “It is not yet known whether Mansur survived the airstrike, Cook said Saturday.
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According to the White House, Mansur had rejected efforts by the Afghan government to seriously engage in peace talks and end the violence that has taken the lives of countless innocent Afghan men, women and children.
The White House statement suggested that the Taliban should seize the opportunity to pursue the only real path for ending this long conflict – joining the Afghan government in a reconciliation process that leads to lasting peace and stability.
Mansur became Taliban leader after the previous leader, Mullah Omar, died from tuberculosis in April 2013.
Photo courtesy: White House