Taliban Acknowledges Death of Leader Mullah Omar


Originally posted on TIME:

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — The Afghan Taliban have released a statement purportedly from the family of Mullah Omar saying he has died of an unspecified illness.

The statement, emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday, didn’t say when he died.

It followed an announcement from the Kabul government the day before. Senior Taliban figures have also told the AP that Mullah Omar died.

The statement says it’s being issued in the name of Mullah Omar’s brother, Mullah Abdul Manan, and his son, Mohammad Yaqub. It apologizes for “any mistakes Mullah Omar (made) during his rule of Afghanistan.” It also asks all Afghans and Muslims to forgive any mistakes Mullah Omar made as leader of the Taliban.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until they were overthrown in a U.S-led invasion in 2001.

[newsletter-the-brief]

Read next: How the Death of Mullah Omar Could Disrupt Progress in Afghanistan

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An Expert Says Our Search Strategy Will Need Overhauling If the Réunion Debris Is From MH370


Originally posted on TIME:

On Friday, a group of French officials boarded a 12-hour flight to Paris from Réunion, a volcanic island and French territory in the southwest Indian Ocean. With them was a 9-ft.-by-3-ft. piece of flotsam many believe is a wing-flap from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.

It was the unremarkable final stretch on what may turn out to be the wing-flap’s remarkable journey—if indeed it is a wing-flap, and if it turns out to have actually come from MH370. Sources in Boeing have told CNN they are ”confident” the flotsam was part of a Boeing 777, and experts have little doubt the part came from the doomed jetliner. That would mean this debris could have been drifting on ocean currents for more than 500 days for some 2,500 miles, or the equivalent to driving…

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