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Afghan Taliban leader ‘killed’ in U.S. airstrike

The United States has carried out a drone strike against Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, the Pentagon says. It is believed Mansour was killed though confirmation of his death was not immediately available.

"Today, the Department of Defense conducted an airstrike that targeted Taliban leader Mullah Mansur in a remote area of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said. Specific details were not provided.

The airstrike - believed to have been carried out by a drone - took place on the Pakistani side of the border in an area near Afghanistan's Zabul province. "We are still assessing the results of the strike and will provide more information as it becomes available," Cook said.

U.S. Congressman Devin Nunes, who is the chairman of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, called the Taliban leader a "bloodthirsty jihadist" and said there were "strong indications" that he had been killed.

"We must, however, remember that extreme Islamist terror groups typically outlive the death of individual leaders, and that our mission in Afghanistan is far from complete," Nunes said. "The United States needs to relentlessly pursue the remaining jihadist commanders wherever they are and thoroughly eliminate the barbaric groups they lead."

Saturday's airstrike had been personally authorized by U.S. President Barack Obama.

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