Collaborating Authors

Families of Afghans killed in US drone raids seek probe

Al Jazeera

Relatives and tribal elders in southeastern Afghanistan are demanding an investigation into the killing of 17 people by US drones this week, claiming the air strikes hit civilians - not members of armed groups. US army officials said on Thursday two air strikes in Paktika province, near the Pakistani border, had only targeted fighters, without any evidence of civilian casualties. Afghan officials confirmed to Al Jazeera that 17 people had been killed in Wednesday's strikes in Gomal district, but added they all had links to the Taliban. Yet, local leaders and relatives insisted on Saturday all of those killed were innocent civilians. "We demand an investigation into the brutal killings of these innocent people," Nimatullah Baburi, a deputy of the Paktika provincial council, told Al Jazeera.

Pakistan police, kin seek murder charge over driver killed along with Taliban chief in U.S. drone strike

The Japan Times

QUETTA, PAKISTAN – The family of a driver who was killed alongside Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan has filed a case against U.S. officials, seeking to press murder charges, police said Sunday. Mansour had entered Pakistan from Iran using a false name and fake Pakistani identity documents on May 21, when his car was targeted by a U.S. drone. The driver, who was also killed, was later identified as Mohammed Azam. The police filed a case on behalf of Azam's family, police official Abdul Wakil Mengal said. It was not immediately clear what legal avenues the family can realistically pursue.

Pakistan: US drone strike violated its sovereignty

Al Jazeera

Pakistan accused the United States on Sunday of violating its sovereignty with a drone strike against the leader of the Afghan Taliban, in perhaps the most high-profile US incursion into Pakistani territory since the 2011 raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Afghanistan said the attack killed Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, which, if confirmed, could trigger a succession battle within the armed group that has proved resilient despite a decade and a half of US military deployments to Afghanistan. Afghanistan's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said on Twitter that he was dead, the country's spy agency also said he had been killed, and a source close to Mansoor told Al Jazeera he believed the reports to be true. The Saturday drone strike, which US officials said was authorised by President Barack Obama, showed the US was prepared to go after the Taliban leadership in Pakistan, which the government in Kabul has repeatedly accused of sheltering the rebels. Pakistan protested on Sunday, saying the US government did not inform Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif beforehand.

Taliban sources confirm leader's death in drone strike as Pakistan slams U.S. incursion

The Japan Times

Balochistan, PAKISTAN/KABUL/WASHINGTON – Taliban supremo Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan, senior militant sources told AFP Sunday, adding that an insurgent assembly was underway to decide on his successor. Saturday's bombing raid, the first known U.S. assault on a top Afghan Taliban leader on Pakistani soil, marks a major blow to the militant movement, which saw a new resurgence under Mansour. The elimination of Mansour, who rose to the rank of leader nine months earlier after a bitter internal leadership struggle, could also scupper any immediate prospect of peace talks. "I can say with good authority that Mullah Mansour is no more," a senior Taliban source told AFP. Mansour's death, which risks igniting new succession battles within the fractious group, was confirmed by two other senior figures who said its top leaders were gathering in Quetta to name their future chief.

US, UAE missed chance to capture Taliban leader: Post

Al Jazeera

The US government and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) missed an opportunity to capture the late leader of the Afghan Taliban when he visited Dubai, a news report said. Former Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor reportedly visited the Gulf emirate for fundraising a few months before his assassination in May 2016, in a US air raid in Pakistan, the Washington Post reported. In an investigation published on Saturday, the Post said US intelligence officials became aware of Mansoor's movements in Dubai and discussed what to do about him. Before a decision was made, he left for Iran, the newspaper reported. Then US President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, requested his plane to be turned around, but Emirati authorities said it was too late, it said.