Washington: US officials have confirmed that the military operations commander of the Haqqani network was killed in a US drone attack last week in Pakistan.
Badruddin Haqqani was the third-ranking official of the outfit, and the most senior member killed to date. His father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, founded the network and remains its titular head, and his brother, Sirajuddin, is its current leader, reports The Washington Post.
"We now believe he is dead," an administration official said.
The administration holds Badruddin responsible for planning a series of high-profile attacks in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has repeatedly denied US charges of close ties with the Haqqanis, but a long-awaited Pakistani military offensive against the group`s North Waziristan sanctuary has never materialised.
Haqqani forces were part of the fight against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and were among those groups receiving aid from both Pakistan and the US Jalaluddin Haqqani later became an official in the Taliban government that took over Afghanistan in 1996, and he fled to the Pakistani tribal region, along with al Qaeda, after the Taliban was overthrown with US assistance in 2001.
Haqqani fighters regrouped and began fighting US and coalition forces across the border in Afghanistan.