Son of Afghan Taliban leader dies carrying out suicide attack

By REUTERS
July 22, 2017 11:18
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The son of Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada died on Thursday carrying out a suicide attack in the province of Helmand in southern Afghanistan, one of the insurgent movement's main spokesmen said.

Abdur Rahman, 23, also known as Hafiz Khalid, died driving a vehicle laden with explosives into an Afghan military base in the town of Gereshk, north of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, the Taliban's main spokesman for southern Afghanistan, said.

He said Abdur Rahman had been a madrassa student but had wanted to carry out a suicide attack. "He succeeded in his mission last Thursday," he said.

Taliban fighters drove three captured Humvee vehicles into checkpoints during heavy fighting around Gereshk on Thursday.

One senior Taliban member, close to Haibatullah's family, said Abdur Rahman had enrolled as a suicide bomber before his father became leader of the Taliban last year and had insisted on continuing after his father took office.

Mullah Haibatullah took over leadership of the Taliban after his predecessor, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour died in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in May, 2016.

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