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The killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Akhtar Mansour in a U.S. drone strike was greeted Sunday by Kabul's political leadership as a game-changer in efforts to end the long insurgent war plaguing Afghanistan.A senior Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, complained before Mansour's death was announced that Taliban fighters were being taken from the battlefields of Afghanistan to Pakistani hospitals.Mansour's death could open a new chapter in Kabul's quest for enduring peace with the Taliban, Mir said.Whether the Taliban will be open to those fresh overtures depends on who succeeds Mansour. Mullah Mohammad Yaqub, the son of Mullah Omar, is popular, charismatic and believed by some officials to favor participation in peace talks. He controls the Taliban's military commissions in 15 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.In the meantime, the drone strike that killed Mansour has sent a message to other extremist leaders -- not only Taliban but others active in Afghanistan and the region -- that they are no longer safe on Pakistani territory.
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