Support our mission

U.S. and Afghan forces have killed a senior militant leader allegedly responsible for bombings and other attacks in eastern Afghanistan, military officials said Friday.

The man, identified as Mullah Sangeen, was described as the second in command to Siraj Haqqani, one of the most-wanted men in the country. Both were targets of a program launched in October, when U.S. forces put up wanted posters and started offering rewards for the killing or capture of various militants.

Sangeen carried a reward of $20,000. Haqqani has a bounty of $200,000 on his head.

It was unclear Friday if information gained through the rewards program was used in the operation that killed Sangeen, nor was there word of whether the reward would be paid out.

The operation took place in eastern Afghanistan on Dec. 11, officials said.

Sangeen was “responsible for attacks on Afghan forces and improvised explosive device bombings,” a news release read. Officials said he is the second Haqqani network commander killed in the last 45 days.

“That we would get two Haqqani sub-commanders so close together certainly raises an eyebrow and begins to make me wonder if Haqqani isn’t looking to get rid of those sub-commanders he doesn’t trust,” Lt. Col. Dave Anders, the Combined Joint Task Force-82 operations officer, said. “Certainly, that’s all speculative, but it does make one wonder.”

In mid-October, the U.S. military named Haqqani as the leader of a “younger, more aggressive generation of Taliban leadership.”

Haqqani, officials said, “has become one of the most influential insurgent commanders in eastern Afghanistan” and one of Afghanistan’s “prime antagonists.”

Haqqani had not been mentioned much publicly until October. According to biographical details provided by military and Afghan officials, he is the son of Jallaludin Haqqani, a famed mujahedeen from the Soviet-Afghan conflict who had established training camps in Khost and Paktia provinces.

According to the U.S. military, the younger Haqqani also has strong tribal connections in Pakistan.


Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up