A Taliban leader has been targeted by a U.S. military airstrike. Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was found in a remote area around the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the Pentagon said.
The results of the strike have not been confirmed, but officials told CNN he was "likely killed." The strike occurred at 6 a.m. EDT. "We are still assessing the results of the strike and will provide more information as it becomes available," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Mansour became leader of the Taliban in 2015. He was the deputy of previous leader Mullah Omar, the BBC reported, and is blamed for tens of thousands of deaths.
The airstrike came after many successfully executed attacks by the U.S. military on militants. Earlier this month, the U.S. killed five militants from al Shabaab, a group linked to al Qaeda.
(1) In 2015, a 4000-strong Taliban gathering in Kuchlak, Pakistan selected Mullah Akhtar Mansour as their new Emir. pic.twitter.com/rVvxXGdzSK
— American Jihad Watch (@Watcherone) May 21, 2016
“We’re good at intercepting phone calls, analyzing metadata,” former CIA officer Bob Baer told CNN shortly after Saturday’s report from the Pentagon. “The problem is … they’re able to regenerate their leadership. There are some leaders, for instance, in the Taliban that are more dangerous than Mullah Mansour.”
Mansour has been reported dead before, Sultan Faizi, spokesman for the Afghan first vice president, claimed in December 2015. The Taliban denied the report.