A son of senior Afghan Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani was killed in a US drone strike in the lawless North Waziristan tribal region in northwest Pakistan.
Muhammad Haqqani was killed along with three close associates in yesterday’s drone attack at Dande Darpa Khel village,a few kilometres north of Miranshah,the main town in North Waziristan Agency,officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels.
The intended target of the strike was Sirajuddin Haqqani,another son of Jalaluddin Haqqani,but it is believed he was not hurt.
The Long War Journal,a website that tracks the war against terror,said Muhammad Haqqani was not a top-level commander of the Pakistan-based Haqqani network that frequently targets US-led forces in Afghanistan.
However,it said that if Muhammad Haqqani was killed,it “may be an indication that US intelligence on the Haqqani network is improving”.
Sirajuddin Haqqani is widely tipped as the successor to Jalaluddin Haqqani,who is considered to be close to Pakistani security establishment.
Day-to-day control of the Haqqani network is now believed to have passed from the elderly Jalaluddin to Sirajuddin.
The Haqqani network is considered the second most dangerous Afghan Taliban faction after Mullah Omar’s Quetta Shura.
The death of Muhammad Haqqani is the latest in a series of major setbacks for the Taliban leadership.
It follows the capture of the Afghan Taliban’s military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Karachi last week and the arrest of five members of its ‘Quetta Shura’ or leadership council.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency has been accused of having close links with the Haqqani network since the time its leader,Jalaluddin,was an anti-Soviet militant commander during the 1980s.