Afghanistan: Founder of Haqqani militant network dies

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It's not clear from the Taliban statement when Haqqani died, but his family said Tuesday he had, in fact, died.

Jalaluddin "was from among the great distinguished extremist personalities of this era", the Taliban said in the English version of its statement posted on Twitter.

Afghan Taliban sources said that despite being a deputy leader, he heads the operational command of the Taliban since 2015 and is believed to be the top strategist for orchestrating ruthless attacks on USA and Afghan forces and their military installations.

The Haqqani network was declared a terrorist organization by the United States in 2012.

It rose to prominence during the following decade as an anti-Soviet guerrilla group backed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Soviet-Afghan War.

READ | Who was Jalaluddin Haqqani?

Following the fall of the Taliban in 2001 after an invasion from the US, Jalaluddin shifted to the tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. [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.

Some militant sources say the pressure forced numerous Haqqanis underground or over the border into their Afghan strongholds, claims that AFP could not confirm.

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Jalaluddin Haqqani was a significant militant figure in Afghanistan and had close ties to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Haqqani's death was reported by Afghan government years ago, but it was never confirmed by the Taliban or his family members.

Haqqani is considered to have introduced suicide bombing to Afghanistan, where it was previously unknown, and his group became notorious for complex, well-organized attacks on both Afghan and US military, as well as civilian targets and high-profile kidnappings.

However, he later allied himself to the Taliban after they took power in Afghanistan in 1996. Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani, the man behind the rise of the dreaded militant organisation had been ill and bedridden for years.

Haqqani network, which is linked to al-Qaeda has also been blamed for several deadly attacks against Western and Indian interests in Afghanistan, including the 2008 bombing of the Indian mission in Kabul. Officials said the Haqqani network was responsible.

He has, reportedly, been buried in Afghanistan at an unknown place.

Afghan and foreign analysts and diplomats played down the significance of Jalaluddin's death for the group's operations.

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