US says Taliban leader strike in Afghan-Pakistan border region

WASHINGTON, May 23 (KUNA) — The US said on Monday that the attack that killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour was carried out in the Afghan-Pakistan border region against an individual who was planning to attack US forces.
“We certainly do respect Pakistan’s territorial integrity. But as we’ve said before, we will carry out strikes to remove terrorist who are activity pursuing, and planning and directing attacks against US forces,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
In response to a question about the impact of the May 21 development, and whether the Taliban has now been defeated, he said, “no, by any means. I wouldn’t say that.” He said, however, that it sends a “clear message” that those who carry out attacks on US and Afghan forces will be targeted, and will not have a “safe haven.” Toner said he also thinks it sends the message that the Taliban must decide “whether it’s going to be part of a peaceful, political future for Afghanistan.” He added that “Mansour showed no. Absolutely no predilection towards engaging in any kind of peaceful political process.” Pakistan has expressed anger over the US drone strike which it said violated its sovereignty and breached the UN Charter, summoning the US ambassador in Islamabad. (end)

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