U.S. drone strike takes out top Taliban leader

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The top Taliban shadow governor who held sway in one of Afghanistan’s largest and most volatile provinces was killed in American drone strike, Afghan and Taliban officials confirmed Sunday.

Mullah Abdul Manan and four other Taliban commanders were killed when their convoy traveling through the Nawzad district of southern Afghanstan’s Helmand Province was struck by U.S. drones on Saturday. The strike took place inside the Afghan district where Mulla Manan served as the “shadow” governor, taking his position as the highest-ranking Taliban official in the embattled corner of southern Helmand province.

As the shadow governor for Nawzad district, which straddles the Afghan-Pakistan border, Mullah Manan was the Taliban’s point person responsible for the group’s narcotrafficking operations across the border, Afghan officials say. In a statement, Taliban officials said Mullah Manan’s death was a “major loss” to the organization, saying the slain Taliban leader was integral in driving most of Helmand province away from the central government in Kabul and under the Taliban flag, according to a statement by Voice of America.- READ MORE

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