KABUL: Afghan security forces said on Thursday they have captured two senior leaders of the feared Haqqani network, a hardline group behind sophisticated attacks on Afghan and NATO forces.

Anas Haqqani, the son of the network’s founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, was arrested late Tuesday along with Hafiz Rashid, another commander, by the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence agency, officials said. “We hope that these two arrests will have direct consequences on the network and their centre of command,” NDS spokesman Haseeb Sediqi told AFP. The Haqqani network was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani — an Afghan guerrilla leader bankrolled by the United States to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Now in his 70s and frail, he is believed to live with his family in Pakistan.

The network is militarily the most capable of the Afghan Taliban factions and operates independently.

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