US troops raid Haqqani terror network
Tuesday September 09, 2008 (2028 PST)
US TROOPS have launched an operation against the Haqqani terror network in the south-eastern province of Khost, the US military said.
The raid was launched on Monday near the border with Pakistan against militants suspected of carrying out roadside bomb attacks against government and foreign forces, the army said in a statement.
Jalaluddin Haqqani, who is accused of having close ties to Al-Qaeda, is the Taliban’s leader in south-east Afghanistan and was one of the main recipients of US funds during the mujahideen’s resistance against the Soviet invasion.
The US statement about Monday’s raid failed to mention another operation on Monday in which Pakistani witnesses and intelligence officials said US drones fired missiles at a house and religious school founded by Haqqani, just across the border in Pakistan, killing 23 people.
Several of the dead were relatives of Haqqani, who is considered close to Osama bin Laden.
Jalaluddin Haqqani broke a seven-year silence last month, vowing in a video tape to increase attacks against US and NATO "invaders" in Afghanistan.
"The Americans said the Taliban was beaten and defeated but we are not defeated," Haqqani says in the tape, his face appearing next to images of Taliban attacks, including a suicide bombing at an American compound in Afghanistan.
"It was our tactical plan to fade away and prepare for a guerrilla war. We will defeat [George] Bush [the US president] and continue our jihad until doomsday,” he said.
In July, Haqqanis family said that one of Jalaluddin`s sons had been killed in a battle with Afghan troops.
The governemnt linked the Haqqani network to the assassination attempt on President Karzai in April.
About 2,500 people, including 1,000 civilians, have been killed in fighting in the first six months this year, aid agencies say.