Obama: Taliban leader's death a 'milestone'

Pentagon Targeted And “Likely Killed” Taliban Leader In Airstrike

Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Mansour was killed in a drone attack near Quetta on Saturday, in what was the US" first-ever drone strike in Balochistan, which has always been a "red line' for Pakistan. "Mansour has been an obstacle to peace and reconciliation between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, prohibiting Taliban leaders from participating in peace talks with the Afghan government that could lead to an end to the conflict".

Although some individual Taliban members have been quoted in media reports saying that Mansour was killed, the group's leadership, keenly aware of the need to limit splits, has not issued its own confirmation.

Mansour had led the Taliban since last summer's surprise announcement of the death of Mullah Omar, the movement's founder.

The attack should give notice to the Taliban and America's allies that the United States will not stand idly by as insurgent leaders find safe haven across the Pakistani border.

Pakistani authorities have said the drone strike was a violation of the country's sovereignty, but reaction from Islamabad has otherwise been relatively muted and a number of questions remain over what exactly happened. He reiterated the U.S. has "shared objectives" with Pakistan as well. But it's also worth pausing to appreciate the recent USA record when it comes to counter-terrorism.

A Pakistani man surveys a house allegedly belonging to the two men killed in USA drone strike in Karachi, Pakistan 23 May 2016.

"We certainly do respect Pakistan's territorial integrity".

Pakistan s foreign affairs ministry said it had summoned the U.S. ambassador Monday to express concern over the weekend bombing.

The Taliban, which has a longstanding tradition of denying deaths of prominent leaders, has not yet commented on the event.

Obama also promised to "help strengthen Afghan security forces and support President (Ashraf) Ghani and the National Unity Government in their efforts to forge the peace and progress that Afghans deserve", to "continue taking action against extremist networks that target the United States".

CNN quoted United Nations saying that he was an active recruiter in the Talibans fight against the Afghan government. A quadrilateral process involving Pakistan, Afghanistan, the U.S. and China to pressure Pakistan to lean on the Taliban has also gone nowhere.

A senior Taliban source told AFP the killing had sent shockwaves through the leadership and many were laying low in Pakistan while some had fled across the border to Afghanistan.

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