The Afghan Taliban announced their new leader will be Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, following the death of Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who was killed in a drone strike by the U.S. on Saturday in Pakistan. Wednesday’s announcement was the first time the Taliban had acknowledged Mansour’s death. Militant attacks reportedly escalated under Mansour’s rule. Akhundzada was a deputy to him and is a former head of the Taliban courts. NBC News reports Akhundzada has previously issued religious edicts that justify attacks on U.S. military forces.