Haqqani network ‘financier’ killed

AFP-JIJI

The chief financier of the Haqqani militant network — one of the most feared groups fighting U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan — has been shot dead in the Pakistani capital, the Taliban said Monday.

Unidentified gunmen attacked Nasiruddin Haqqani, a son of the group’s founder, on the edge of Islamabad on Sunday evening, the militants said.

The Haqqanis have been blamed for spectacular attacks on Afghan government and NATO targets across Afghanistan, as well as for kidnappings and murders.

Eyewitnesses described attackers on motorbikes spraying Haqqani with automatic gunfire as he bought bread from a shop in Bhara Kahu on the northeastern edge of the city. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killing.

A 2012 study by the Combating Terrorism Center at U.S. military academy West Point described Nasiruddin as the Haqqanis’ “chief financial officer.” It described a formidable business network supporting the Haqqanis’ military operations, with funds flowing from real estate and gulf donations as well as illicit sources such as extortion, kidnapping and smuggling.