Afghanistan arrests two top Haqqani network leaders

Afghan forces have arrested the son of the Haqqani network's founder along with a militant commander in charge of attacks, Afghanistan's intelligence service said

Afghanistan arrests two top Haqqani network leaders

World Bulletin/News Desk

Security forces have arrested two top Haqqani network leaders in a “complex” operation in Afghanistan, Afghan intelligence official said Wednesday.

“The intelligence service directorate personnel have arrested Anas Haqqani, the second most important leader of the Haqqani terror network in Afghanistan and Hafiz Rashid, the regional military commander of the network in eastern Afghanistan, during a special and complex operation on Tuesday night,” Afghan intelligence service department spokesman Abdul Hasseb Sediqi told Anadolu Agency.

Anas Haqqani is the big catch, who is said to be the son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the operational chief of the notorious Haqqani network, Sediqi said. Anas Haqqani was also a special adviser to his brother, Sarajuddin Haqqani, the network's leader, the NDS said. Jalaluddin Haqqani is reportedly in ill health and has given up most day-to-day control.

Anas Haqqani is considered a key and an influential member of the network. He is alleged to have been involved in major attacks in Afghanistan apart from being in the top decision-making council of the network.

According to Sediqi, the second catch, Hafiz Rashid, was an Afghan citizen from eastern Khost province, who allegedly lived in Pakistan’s Punjab province until recently. Rashid is alleged to be a senior military commander of the network responsible for operations in eastern Afghanistan. He too is accused of being involved in major attacks, including coordinating militant operations on Afghan and international security forces.

The spokesperson declined to disclose the exact area from where the arrests were made.

Another Haqqani son, chief financier Nasiruddin, was shot dead in November last year in Islamabad by unknown assailants.

On the same day when these two arrests are said to have been made, a US drone strike was also reported that killed an alleged prominent Haqqani network commander and four of his companions in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Late last year, the Obama administration created a special unit based in Kabul to coordinate efforts against the militant group, officials familiar with the matter told Reuters in February.

The unit, headed by a colonel and known in military parlance as a "fusion cell", brings together special forces, conventional forces, intelligence personnel, and some civilians to improve targeting of Haqqani members and to heighten the focus on the group, the officials said at the time.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Ekim 2014, 15:26

Muhammed Öylek

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