Haqqani commander believed killed in air strike | Aussies At War

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Haqqani commander believed killed in air strike | Aussies At War

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Posted on August 26, 2012 Written by Trevor DixonLeave a Comment(Edit)

The operational commander of Afghanistan’s most prominent militant group has reportedly been killed in an American air strike, according to members of his family.

Badruddin Haqqani was a senior operational commander and financial boss of the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network.

The militant group was started by his father, and has been behind some of the most high profile attacks against foreign forces in Afghanistan.

A relative of Badruddin has told the BBC that the militant leader was killed in an airstrike last Tuesday in the Pakistani province of North Wazirstan.

Local officials and tribesmen also say he has been killed, but the US military has not yet confirmed this.

Analysts say his death would be a huge victory for coalition forces in the fight against Afghan insurgents.

Ahmed Rashid, a specialist on militancy in Pakistan, says Badruddin’s death would be a significant blow to the network.

“I think it’s terribly important. Badruddin was the operational commander, but he was also one of the main financiers,” he said.

“He would travel on a Pakistani passport to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to raise donations from sympathisers and supporters in the Arab world, and he was very well known in jihadist circles, including Al Qaeda.”

A probe is underway by Pakistani officials to confirm the reports that Badruddin Haqqani, the son of the founder of the powerful Haqqani network, was killed in a US drone strike this week.

Two Pakistani intelligence officials said, citing reports from their agents, on Saturday they are 90 per cent certain that Badruddin was killed on Tuesday in North Waziristan, The Associated Press reported.

However, no eyewitness of the body has been found yet.

A senior Taliban commander said a US drone strike killed Badruddin, but there was no independent confirmation.

Badruddin has been described as the outfit’s day-to-day operations commander. His death, if confirmed, would mark a major blow to the organisation founded by his father, Jalaluddin Haqqani.

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