Well-known moderate Taliban cleric killed in suicide bombing
Kabul, Aug 11 (EFE).- Well-known Taliban cleric Rahimullah Haqqani, who had publicly defended women’s right to education and work, was killed on Thursday in a suicide bombing in Kabul inside his madrassa or Islamic school.
The attack took place around noon at a madrassa in the Shashdrak area of the capital, when a man who was carrying explosives “in his prosthetic leg” detonated himself next to Haqqani, a Taliban official told EFE on the condition of anonymity.
“An investigation is underway to find that from where and by whom was the person taken to Rahimullah Haqqani,” he added.
Senior Taliban leaders condemned the killing, with deputy government spokesperson Bilal Karimi acknowledging that he had received the news of the scholar’s martyrdom with “great sadness.”
According to information shared by some of his students and Taliban officials, Haqqani hailed from the eastern Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan, and had settled in the Pakistani city of Peshawar during the United States’ occupation of Afghanistan.
He was taken into custody by the US and kept in Afghanistan’s Bagram prison, and he continued to play an active role in backing the Taliban troops against the US and the previous Afghan regime by recruiting new fighters.
After the international troops withdrew from the country last year, Haqqani moved to Kabul.
The religious leader was known for his strong opposition to the Islamic State, and the terror group had allegedly made several attempts against his life in Pakistan.
The IS continues to be the main security threat in Afghanistan and has maintained a deadly rivalry with the Taliban.
Haqqani had also publicly backed women’s rights, especially with regard to education and work, a position which is at loggerheads with the Taliban’s official stand, as the regime has refused to allow girls to return to secondary schools even a year after seizing power. EFE