Kabul, In a major blow to militant organisation Haqqani network, it's founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, who was also a close associate of Osama bin Laden, has died after a long illness, the Afghan Taliban announced on Tuesday.
Jalaluddin died "after a long battle with illness", the Taliban said in a statement.His son Sirajuddin Haqqani now heads the brutal group and is also the Taliban's deputy leader.He was an Afghan mujahideen commander fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Jalaluddin gained notoriety for his organisation and bravery, garnering attention from the CIA and a personal visit from US congressman Charlie Wilson, a report published in Telegraph said.
A fluent Arabic speaker, Jalaluddin also fostered close ties with Arab jihadists including Osama Bin Laden who flocked to the region during the war. Later, Jalaluddin became a minister in the Taliban regime.
In recent years his network of fighters was allied to the Taliban and considered the deadliest threat to American troops in Afghanistan.
The presence of his movement in north-west Pakistan fanned the perception that he was an 'ally' of Islamabad. And the US repeatedly urged the Pakistani government to 'end ties' and clear the Haqqani network from its territory.