The leader of the Afghan Taliban who was killed in a U.S. airstrike over the weekend reportedly visited Iran just hours before his death.
Mullah Akhtar Mansour, an Afghan citizen, was carrying a Pakistani passport when he entered the country Saturday at the Taftan transit point in western Pakistan, a popular crossing for cargo trucks, VOA news reports.
The passport reportedly had the name Wali Muhammad on it, but also had Mansour’s photo.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Mansour was in Iran, but five hours after he crossed the border, he was killed in the drone strike while traveling to Quetta, officials said.
A passport control photo also showed Mansour entering Pakistan, and he previously crossed into Iran at the same location on April 24, VOA News reported.
Western diplomats in Kabul have said Mansour had been in contact with Iran and Russia in recent months, in a bid to diversify his support base away from Pakistan. Pakistan’s ISI secret service has long been suspected of supporting the Taliban leadership in cities across the border from Afghanistan, notably Quetta and Peshawar.