Afghan Taliban appoint new leader after Mansour's death

Haibatullah Akhunzada is a former head of the Taliban’s judiciary and was deputy to Mansour.

FILE: Afghan security personnel walk outside a damaged building after a Taliban attack in Kabul on 6 October, 2015. Picture: AFP.

KABUL - The Afghan Taliban have named Haibatullah Akhunzada their new leader, a spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday that gave the group's first official confirmation that former leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour had been killed in a US drone strike.

Haibatullah Akhunzada is a former head of the Taliban's judiciary and was deputy to Mansour.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a network blamed for many high-profile bombs attacks in Kabul in recent years, and Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of former leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, will serve as deputies, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's main spokesman, said in the statement.