Supreme council of Taliban appointed Haibatullah Akhundzada as their new leader, after their former chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US drone strike last week.

“Haibatullah Akhundzada has been appointed as the new leader of Taliban after a unanimous agreement in the Shura (supreme council),” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Wednesday.

 

Haibatullah previously served as a deputy to Mansour and was a former head of the Taliban’s “judiciary.”

 

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of a network responsible for a series of powerful bomb attacks across Kabul in recent years, and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, were also named deputies.

 

On May 21, the US Department of Defense announced in a statement that it had killed Mansour in a drone strike “in a remote area of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.”

 

The news about Mullah Mansour’s death came amid reports that splinter groups within the Taliban were refusing to pledge allegiance to him.

 

There have also been growing differences among Taliban elements over peace talks with the Afghan government, with some vowing to fight for power instead of taking part in negotiations.