PESHAWAR - In the wake of death of Mullah Muhammad Omar, Afghan Taliban Thursday reportedly appointed Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansoor as their new supreme leader – the second one since the inception of Taliban movement in early 1990s.

According to news reports, Sirajuddin Haqqani - leader of the powerful Haqqani militant faction - and Mullah Yaqoob - son of Mullah Omar - were elected deputies to Mansoor.

After BBC on Wednesday reported Omar dead and Afghan intelligence affirmed it the same day, Taliban Shura met on Wednesday night and named Mullah Akhtar as the new supreme leader. They later issued a statement on Thursday confirming the death of Mullah Omar , but did not formally announce the new appointment.

It must have been a tricky process of choosing a successor to the near-mythical figure who led the Taliban for some 20 years. Omar’s son Yakoub was favoured by some commanders but at 26 he was considered too young and inexperienced for such a key role, a foreign news agency said quoting unnamed sources.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was appointed leader at a meeting of the Taliban’s top representatives, reported another foreign news agency while quoting two Taliban leaders who were present at the shura that elected the new leader.

“The shura… unanimously elected Mullah Mansoor as the new emir of the Taliban,” said one commander at the Wednesday night meeting. “The shura will release a statement shortly,” he added. Sirajuddin Haqqani will be a deputy to Mansoor, both commanders added. Besides him, Mullah Yaqoob was also elected as a deputy to Akhtar Mansoor, other sources said.

To lead the movement, Mansoor has the support of Taliban’s senior leadership but not all of them, sources said. He is stated to be in favour of peace talks with the Afghan government the second round of which scheduled for today (Friday) in Murree was postponed. The new chief, believed to be in his 40 and belonging to Kandahar province, has led the insurgency for years but lacks Omar’s legitimacy as a spiritual leader.

Mullah Omer remained a powerful man, the undisputed leader of the Taliban and a unifying force. His death may also expose further division within Taliban ranks after the reports that some of them are backing and others opposing peace talks. The Islamic State which is making efforts to get a strong foothold in Afghanistan could be the main beneficiary of Omar’s demise, as the IS has reportedly recruited some disaffected Taliban members to its fold.