Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Taliban Name Lesser-Known Cleric as Their New Leader

KABUL, Afghanistan — Four days after their leader was killed in an American drone strike, the Taliban broke their silence early Wednesday to announce that a lesser-known deputy, Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, would take over and continue the group’s war against the Afghan government.
Mawlawi Haibatullah, who is thought to be in his 50s, is seen within the group as carrying deep religious credentials, and he served as a judicial leader during the days of the Taliban government in Afghanistan. But in the discussions leading up to his selection, Taliban commanders described him as a respected elder who was guiding the selection process, not as a front-runner himself.

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