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Haqqani militant figure killed in Pakistan

Local residents and members of the news media gather at spot where Nasiruddin Haqqani, a senior leader of the feared militant Haqqani network, was assassinated at an Afghan bakery in the Bhara Kahu area on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday. A Pakistani Taliban commander and an intelligence official say a senior leader of the feared militant Haqqani network has been shot dead in Islamabad. AP photo

Local residents and members of the news media gather at spot where Nasiruddin Haqqani, a senior leader of the feared militant Haqqani network, was assassinated at an Afghan bakery in the Bhara Kahu area on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday. A Pakistani Taliban commander and an intelligence official say a senior leader of the feared militant Haqqani network has been shot dead in Islamabad. AP photo

ISLAMABAD — A financier and senior leader of the feared Haqqani network, a group credited with attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul and numerous strikes on NATO forces in Afghanistan, was shot to death on the outskirts of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, a Taliban spokesman said Monday.

Shortly after Nasiruddin Haqqani, the son of group founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, was killed late Sunday, his body was secreted away to Miranshah in the North Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border to be buried, according to Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, who spoke to journalists by phone from an undisclosed location.

A member of the Haqqani family who asked not to be identified said Nasiruddin’s funeral was held Monday at an undisclosed location. “We do not know the motive for his murder,” he added.

Shahid charged that the Pakistan government was involved in Nasiruddin’s killing, adding that he believed it was done at the behest of the United States. “We will take revenge,” he said.

No one took immediate responsibility for the killing, and Islamabad police said they were not aware of the incident. Nasiruddin was returning home Sunday night from a mosque when he was shot in a car by a gunman on a motorcycle, according to media reports that could not be confirmed.

Nasiruddin, who is on both U.S. and U.N. global terrorist lists, is believed to be the network’s main financier, negotiator and a key liaison with outside groups.

“Nasiruddin was a very important member of the network and was mainly involved in dialogue-related matters for the group,” said a religious scholar with close links to the Haqqani family. “He was a frequent traveler to the Middle East since his mother lives there and is an Arab. He was the face of the group for the Arab world, since he spoke good Arabic and would collect funds from the region.”

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