Top leader of Haqqani network nabbed, say reports

The militant network, led by aging Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani and his three sons, is blamed for fuelling an increasingly deadly Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The report of the militant leader's arrest was first given by Kabul-based Afghan Online Press (AOP). It, however, did not name the arrested leader, Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper reported Saturday.

CNN identified the militant leader as Nasiruddin Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin Haqqani.
"He (Nasiruddin Haqqani) operates in the Afghan district of Sabari, in Khost province," the AOP report said, adding that he was responsible for IED attacks on security forces in the province.

On Dec 21, coalition security forces were tipped off about Taliban militants's presence in a compound of a house in Sabari district, the AOP said citing a NATO press statement.

"They raided and secured the compound without resistance from people inside."The forces detained several people and seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition. It was found later that the militants belonged to the Haqqani network.

However, CNN gave a different account of the arrest.

"Nasiruddin Haqqani was detained while driving from Peshawar to the North Waziristan tribal region," it said quoting Pakistani military intelligence sources.

Another report said Nasiruddin - whose pseudonym is Dr. Khan - and four companions were arrested while they were returning to Peshawar after performing Hajj.

One of his companions has been identified as Mullah Muhammad Jan, a senior commander of the Haqqani network.

Since Dec 1, coalition forces have detained 25 leaders and 107 militants of the network.

The Afghan Taliban, however, has denied the arrest.

"I don't think the news report is correct," a Taliban leader told the Express Tribune by phone from an undisclosed location.

Pakistan's Federal Investi­gation Agency (FIA) has also denied the report.

"No person by the name of Nasiruddin Haqqani and Mullah Muhammad Jan have landed at the Peshawar airport from Gulf states during the last 10 days," FIA Director in Peshawar Zaibullah said.

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