The revered guerrilla leader Jalaluddin Haqqani who founded the ‘Haqqani Network’ has died after several years of illness, the Afghan Taliban has confirmed.
Haqqani was a renowned “jihadi” figure in Afghanistan and had close ties to both the Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
His son is believed to have taken over control of the network in 2001.
The Haqqani Network has been behind many of the coordinated attacks on Afghan and NATO forces in recent years.
There were no specific details in the statement issued by the Afghan Taliban about the date or place of Haqqani’s death.
The statement read: “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”.
Haqqani was the leader of Afghan guerrilla warfare against Soviet Union when they occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s.
U.S. officials 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 Haqqani an “exemplary warrior and among the great distinguished jihadi personalities of this era”.
The Haqqani Network was one of several armed factions that operated from the tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border following the US-led military invasion, which toppled the Taliban in 2001.