Haqqani network founder dies of illness, Afghan Taliban says

Xinhua
Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of Haqqani network militant group, has died of illness, the Afghan Taliban outfit confirmed on Tuesday.
Xinhua
AFP

This file picture taken on October 19, 2001, shows former Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia's key man Jalaluddin Haqqani, commander-in-chief of southern Afghanistan and minister of border region, speaking with the media in Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad. 

Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of Haqqani network militant group, has died of illness, the Afghan Taliban outfit confirmed on Tuesday.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, confirmed in a statement that Jalaluddin Haqqani was ill and bed-ridden for the past several years and he has passed away after a long battle with illness.

The statement did not provide details.

Jalaluddin had led the Haqqani group for years, however, his son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, is leading the notorious Haqqani group over the past several years, after his father's illness.

Sirajuddin presently also serves as deputy leader to the Taliban supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada.

As a Taliban-linked group of militants, the Haqqani network mostly operating in eastern provinces and capital Kabul, and has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against Afghan security forces and US-led NATO coalition troops.

Local experts believe that the death of Jalaluddin, who was a member of Taliban leadership council, would be a blow for the network and the Taliban insurgent group.

Jalaluddin was also a key Mujahidin leader during in 1980s during the former Soviet Union war in Afghanistan.

The Haqqani network was designated as a terrorist group by the United States in 2012.

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