Afghanistan: Taliban leadership shake-up, more border clashes with Pakistan

Taliban leader Mullah Omar has formally confirmed the death of top commander Mullah Dadullah, through a spokesman, and nominated Mullah Bakht Mohammad as his replacement. The elusive Mullah Omar also claimed there are thousands of fighters ready to avenge Dadullah’s death and called for an immediate return of Dadullah’s corpse to his family. Dadullah’s brother, Shah Mansoor, and two other senior Taliban officials released from prison in exchange for the safe release of a foreign journalist in March have also been killed, according to Afghan intelligence officials. The trio, including commanders Mullah Ghaffar and Mullah Hamdullah, were killed hours before US forces killed Mullah Dadullah in Helmand province on May 12. (, May 16)

Afghan and Pakistani troops exchanged gun and mortar fire on the border May 17, after Afghan forces launched a mortar at Pakistani units near the Teri Mangal area in the Khyber tribal district. Meanwhile, NATO is demanding that Pakistan launch an official inquiry into the deaths of a US soldier and Pakistani trooper killed May 14, after reports emerged that the shooter was wearing a Pakistani paramilitary uniform. (AFP, May 17)

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