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Taliban says Haqqani network founder died after illness

Taliban says Haqqani network founder died after illness

Haqqani died Monday inside Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahed told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

But the terror network that he established later on is considered as one of the most risky factions fighting Afghan and US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

A top leader of the Taliban, once an ally of the United States and later one of its fiercest opponents in Afghanistan, has died, the Taliban announced Tuesday.

Haqqani passed operational control of the network to his son Siraj many years ago, CNN reported.

It marks the third time US forces have killed a leader of ISIS in Afghanistan since 2016, according to a NATO Resolute Support statement.

When U.S. -led forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001, he put his considerable military experience to fighting the Americans.

With Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has a $5m U.S. bounty on his head, in operational charge, it was not immediately clear what direct impact Jalaluddin Haqqani's death would have on the armed movement. Haqqani was hailed by the late US congressman Charlie Wilson as "goodness personified".

The Haqqani network was declared a terrorist organisation by the USA in 2012. Responsibility for steering the operations of the network used to be transferred from Haqqani, aging and reportedly ailing, to his son Sirajuddin. He once was called a "freedom fighter" by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

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Sirajuddin is now deputy leader of the Afghan Taliban.

Jalaluddin Haqqani was a pivotal figure in modern Afghanistan, recruiting Osama bin Laden during the 1980s and later helping the al-Qaeda leader set up training camps for attacks on the West.

Haqqani had been ill and bed-ridden for several years but remained an inspiration for the Taliban, the movement said. [Pakistan would chose Haqqani, Taliban over US: Experts] Haqqani is reported to stir his believe training camps, to recruit his believe worldwide warring parties, and to survey out monetary and logistic strengthen on his believe, from his old model contacts.

The Haqqani Network became well-known to many Americans for its role in the capture and ransom of Bowe Bergdahl, but it was a major force in terrorism and Afghanistan politics long before that.

The groups is now based in Pakistan's North Waziristan region.

During the 1980s, when Washington backed an uprising against the communist government in Kabul and its Russian allies, it was Haqqani's military prowess that brought him attention from both the United States and Pakistan. After the communist government in Kabul was overthrown by the US -backed "mujahideen", Haqqani served as justice minister in "mujahideen government", albeit briefly.

The Haqqanis have always been suspected of links to Pakistan's shadowy military establishment and its notorious spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).


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