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Pakistan Says DNA Tests Confirm Death Of Taliban Leader

The late Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur (file photo)
The late Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur (file photo)

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry has announced that a DNA test has confirmed that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan.

In a statement on May 29, the ministry said a DNA sample from one of the men killed in the drone attack was successfully matched with a close relative of Mansur.

Mansur's body was badly burned from the drone strike, which targeted a car he was traveling in. The other person in the car has been identified as Mohammed Azam, a local driver.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghan officials had already confirmed Mansur’s death in the May 21 air strike at a village near Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta.

But Islamabad had refused to confirm Mansur’s death before receiving the results of DNA tests.

Since Mansur’s death, the Afghan Taliban has announced Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada as the new Taliban leader.

But some Taliban factions have refused to support Akhundzada’s appointment.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP