Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of Afghan militant network, dies
GB news 24 desk//
The founder of the Haqqani militant network has died after several years of illness, the Afghan Taliban has announced.
Jalaluddin Haqqani was a significant militant figure in Afghanistan and had close ties to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
His son is believed to have taken over control of the group in 2001.
The Haqqani network has been behind many of the co-ordinated attacks on Afghan and Nato forces in recent years.
There were no details in the statement about the date or place of Haqqani’s death.
“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,” a statement from the Afghan Taliban said.
Rumours about Haqqani’s death have circulated for years.
In 2015, sources close to the group told the BBC that the leader had died at least a year earlier. This was never confirmed.
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.
In its statement, the Taliban called Jalaluddin Haqqani an “exemplary warrior… and among the great distinguished jihadi personalities of this era”.
The Haqqani network was one of several militant groups that operated from the tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border following the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan, which ousted the Taliban in 2001.