Baku, September 4, AZERTAC
The founder of the Haqqani Network, one of Afghanistan's most effective and feared armed groups, has died after a long illness, their affiliates the Afghan Taliban announced on Tuesday, Al Jazeera reported.
The Taliban statement said Jalaluddin Haqqani had been ill and bed-ridden for several years.
"If his excellency Haqqani Sahib has departed us physically, his ideology and methodology continue to endure," it said.
Haqqani, who founded the network in the 1970s, relinquished operational leadership of the group some years ago to his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is now deputy leader of the Afghan Taliban.
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Mohammad Radmanish said the death was not expected to mean any major change for the Haqqani Network.
"Operationally, his death will not have an impact on the group," he said, adding that Haqqani's role in recent years was ideological rather than practical.
Haqqani rose to prominence as a guerrilla leader in the US-backed campaign against Soviet forces occupying Afghanistan but later allied himself with the Taliban, fighting American troops after the Taliban were removed in 2001.
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