KABUL: Taliban insurgents say that the family of late Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has announced their support for Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour as his successor.
A statement posted on the Taliban’s web site on Tuesday said that Mullah Omar’s brother, Mullah Abdul Manan, and eldest son, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub, declared their support for Mansour’s leadership in a gathering of senior Taliban officials.
Manan confirmed to The Associated Press that he and Yaqoub are now pledging their allegiance to Mansour; the pair, along with several other senior Taliban commanders, initially rejected Mansour’s ascension.
The reversal should remove one of the main obstacles to Mansour’s fledgling leadership, but there are still a number of other Taliban commanders who oppose Mansour as the leader.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a suicide car bombing killed four people in the Paghman district, west of the capital Kabul.
Abdul Qader, the district governor of Paghman, said the attacker targeted a government compound around 10 a.m. where both a district police department and administrative offices are located.
Qader added that the district chief of criminal investigations was among those killed in the attack.
Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi, the chief of the Kabul police, visited the site of attack and told reporters that the vehicle was a small truck loaded with explosives hidden under a pile of fruit. More than 40 people, mostly civilians, were wounded, he added.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the Paghman attack. Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks on Afghan soldiers and police in recent months. U.S. and NATO forces formally ended their combat mission at the end of last year, leaving Afghan security forces in charge of public safety in the country.