Taliban announces new leader

Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada has been named the new Afghan Taliban leader following the death of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement, CNN reports.

“The Islamic Emirate’s leadership council decided to appoint Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada as the new leader of the Islamic Emirate and Mawlawi Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mawlawi Mohammad Yaqoob as his deputies,” the statement reads.

Haqqani is the leader of Haqqani terror network, long aligned with the Taliban and al Qaeda, and Yaqoob the son of former long-time Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar.

The same statement confirmed the death of the previous leader, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s Balochistan province Saturday.

The Taliban was formed in 1994 and led by Mullah Mohammed Omar.