KABUL: The Afghan Taliban on Tuesday condemned the killing of a senior Haqqani network leader but said his death would not have any impact on the militants’ campaign of violence.
Unidentified gunmen reportedly gunned down Nasiruddin Haqqani, the eldest son of the group’s founder, as he bought bread on the edge of Islamabad on Sunday evening.
Haqqani was the chief financier of the Haqqani militant network, which is affiliated with the Afghan Taliban and fighting US-led and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.
They have been blamed for spectacular attacks on Afghan government and Nato targets across Afghanistan, as well as for kidnappings and murders.
“We condemn the cowardly act of the defeated enemy and tell them that these kinds of terrorist actions will not have any negative impact on the current jihadi activities,” the Taliban said in a statement.
“His death is a big loss for Islamic Emirate and all Afghanistan,” it said.
An FIR of the attempted murder was registered against unidentified attackers at the local police station in Bara Kahu.
However, no senior Pakistani government official spoke on the incident, which many believe would heavily figure in ties between the US and Pakistan, as questions would be asked about his presence in Islamabad.
Eyewitnesses described attackers on motorbikes spraying Haqqani with automatic gunfire at a bakery in Bara Kahu on the northeastern edge of Islamabad.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killing, which came less than two weeks after a US drone strike assassinated Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in North Waziristan tribal district.
Washington holds the Haqqanis responsible for some of the most high-profile attacks in Afghanistan, including a 2011 siege of the US embassy and, in 2009, the deadliest attack on the CIA in 25 years.
The United States put the Haqqani network on its terror blacklist in September 2012, and the Pentagon said the group represented a “significant threat” to its national security.