Hawzah News Agency (Islamabad, Pakistan) - In a statement posted on Twitter, the Taliban announced the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, thought to be in his 70s or 80s, without specifying where or when it occurred.
Haqqani "was ill and bedridden for the past several years," the statement read.
The terrorist network operates on both the Pakistani and Afghan side of the border. It has been behind some deadly attacks against civilians, security forces and NATO forces in the Afghan capital over the past decade.
The terrorist were blamed for the devastating truck bomb in the heart of Kabul in May 2017 that killed around 150 people -- though the Haqqani network later denied any involvement.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman emphasized that Haqqani's death was not expected to mean any major change for the group as his role had been ideological rather than practical in recent years.
“Operationally, his death will not have an impact on the group,” Mohammad Radmanish said.
Rumours about Haqqani's death have on several occasions circulated in the past years.
Haqqani had close ties with the al-Qaeda terrorist group. He had already given up operational leadership of the militant network to his son Sirajuddin, who is now Taliban's deputy leader.
The Haqqani militant network was formed 30 years ago to fend off the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and still boasts a strong presence in eastern Afghanistan and in the tribal districts of North Waziristan in Pakistan's restive northwest along the Afghan border.