The death of Mullah Mansour in Balochistan, Pakistan from a U.S. drone strike has propelled Haibatullah Akhundzada to the leadership of the Afghan Taliban. His elevation has been met with little criticism within the Taliban ranks. In fact, the leadership transition has been rather smooth, given that Akhundzada comes across as a respectable yet dogmatic and powerful figure; his ascendance sends ominous signs for the Quadrilateral Coordination Group’s (QCG) peace efforts. The fact that Taliban suicide bombers attacked a shuttle bus west of the Afghan capital Kabul, resulting in 11 casualties, may be a sign of things to come.
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