MOSCOW, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Afghani security forces captured two leaders of the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, an Islamist insurgency group, on Tuesday, October 14.
"It is one of the biggest and most important arrests by NDS [the National Directorate of Security], and has strategic impact on this network and can cause disorder in its operations and weaken its fighting capabilities," said the Afghan intelligence service, cites the Associated Press.
The two insurgents – Anas Haqqani, the son of the terrorist group founder Jalaluddin Haqqani and commander Hafiz Rashid – were arrested by the NDS late Tuesday.
According to Agence France-Presse, the Haqqani network is conducting its terrorist activity in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. A car bomb incident in the Paktika province in July 2014, which killed 40 Afghan civilians, was reportedly carried out by Haqqani network fighters.
Jalaluddin Haqqani, a prominent Afghani rebel, founded the terrorist organization in the1980s. Jalaluddin collaborated with the CIA and Pakistani intelligence and established close ties with the Taliban in 1990s. Haqqani served as a cabinet minister in the Taliban government after the militants seized power in Kabul in 1996.
The Associated Press points out that the Haqqani network, which has allied with both Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda, was involved in numerous attacks on Afghan and NATO targets in North Waziristan, Pakistan.
"We hope that these two arrests will have direct consequences on the network and their centre of command," said NDS spokesperson Haseeb Sediqi, as quoted by Agence France-Presse. According to Sediqi the Haqqani network was funded by Gulf states. Anas, the network's "decision-maker," had maintained close contact with Arab Gulf sponsors.