Taliban Appoints New Leader After Mullah Omar’s Death

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -

The Taliban confirmed the death of longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and appointed his successor Thursday, as a new round of peace talks was indefinitely postponed amid concerns over how committed the new leadership is to ending the terrorist group’s insurgency.

The Afghan Taliban Shura, chose Mullah Omar’s deputy, Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, as new leader, Taliban figures told The AP,

Mansoor is close to Pakistani authorities who hosted talks earlier this month, and his election could widen an internal split between fighters who favor negotiations with the Afghan government and those who want to continue an insurgency that has gained speed following the international combat mission last year. Mansoor has effectively commanded the movement for the three years since Omar’s previous deputy and co-founder of the movement, Mullah Abdul Baradar, was arrested by Pakistani authorities.