Haqqani network leader Jalaluddin Haqqani is dead

Sep 05, 2018, 08:10 IST | Agencies

The Haqqani network was founded by Jalaluddin, an Afghan mujahideen commander fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980s with the help of the US and Pakistan

Haqqani network leader Jalaluddin Haqqani is dead
Jalaluddin Haqqani. File pic

The Taliban announced yesterday the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former CIA asset whose eponymous militant group is now considered one of the most dangerous factions fighting Afghan and US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Haqqani network was founded by Jalaluddin, an Afghan mujahideen commander fighting the Soviet occupation in the 1980s with the help of the US and Pakistan.

Now a Taliban affiliate, it is blamed for some of the most shocking and brutal attacks across Afghanistan since the US invasion of 2001. Designated a terror group by Washington, targeting it is one of the top US priorities in the region.

Long suspected of links to Pakistan's shadowy military establishment, the network was described by US Admiral Mike Mullen in 2011 as a "veritable arm" of Pakistani intelligence. Jalaluddin gained notoriety for his organisation and bravery during the Afghan conflict of the 1980s, garnering attention from the CIA and a personal visit from US congressman Charlie Wilson. Jalaluddin also fostered close ties with Arab jihadists, including Osama bin Laden. The network has been led by his son Sirajuddin, who doubles as the Afghan Taliban's deputy leader.

CIA 'prized asset'
Jalaluddin Haqqani was an Afghan guerrilla leader who fought Soviet troops when they occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s. US officials have admitted that at the time he was a prized asset of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). However, he later allied himself to the Taliban after they took power in Afghanistan in 1996.

21 Taliban militants killed in clash
Kabul: At least 21 Taliban militants were killed in a clash with Afghan security forces in Afghanistan's Paktia province. The officials said that dozens of militants were injured, while four security forces were killed in the ambush. The attack came before the group announced the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani.

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