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Taliban: Haqqani network leader dead

Tuesday September 4, 2018

Jalaluddin Haqqani | founder and leader of the Haqqani network (Reuters/Stringer/File Picture)
Haqqani (right) led one of the most feared and well organized insurgency groups in Afghanistan

Jalaluddin Haqqani, head of the Haqqani network insurgent group, has passed away, according to the Afghan Taliban. He led one of the most potent military factions operating in Afghanistan.

The founder and head of the Haqqani network insurgent group, Jalaluddin Haqqani, has passed away after a long illness, according to a Taliban statement.

"Just as he endured great hardships for the religion of Allah during his youth and health, he also endured long illness during his later years," the network's allies in the Taliban announced. The statement did not disclose Haqqani's time or date of death.

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Media reports had reported Haqqani's death back in 2015, but the Taliban and members of the Haqqani family denied those claims. However, the Afghan militant group has covered up the deaths of previous leaders, such as the death of Taliban supreme commander Mohammed Omar, which was kept under wraps for two years.

Haqqani founded his insurgent network in the 1970s. The group rose to prominence in the 1980s as an anti-Soviet guerrilla group backed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Soviet-War.

The Haqqani network is an offshoot of the Taliban, a Sunni Islamist political movement in Afghanistan. The US declared it a terrorist organization in 2012, while Pakistan banned the group as part of its National Action Plan.

Haqqani ceded control of the group some time ago to his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is now also the deputy leader of the Afghan Taliban.


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