‘Mansour’s death a milestone for peace’

epaper Updated: May 24, 2016 10:15 IST

WASHINGTON: Confirming Taliban leader Mullah Mansour’s death in a drone strike, President Barack Obama has called it “an important milestone” in efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan.

While the US announced the targeting of the vehicle carrying Akhtar Mohammad Mansour in a town in Pakistan, it had not officially confirmed it, but governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan did.

“Today marks an important milestone in our longstanding effort to bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan,” Obama, who is touring east Asia, said in a statement on Sunday.

He added: “With the death of Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansur, 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 Qaeda.”

Mansour has been described as opposed to peace talks that a section of Taliban and its leaders had backed. “Mansur rejected efforts by the Afghan government to seriously engage in peace talks and end the violence..,” Obama said, urging the Taliban to “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”.

First Published: May 24, 2016 06:32 IST