Afghan Cleric Killed by Bomb Concealed in Prosthetic Leg

It's a 'very huge loss' for the country, Taliban official says of death claimed by ISIS
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2022 8:50 AM CDT
Afghan Cleric Killed by Bomb Concealed in Prosthetic Leg
A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of an explosion in front of the Kabul International Cricket Stadium, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 29, 2022.   (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

(Newser) – An Afghan cleric who supported the Taliban and went up against the Islamic State has been killed in a suicide bombing claimed by that same group. Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani died at an Islamic seminary in Kabul when a man detonated a bomb hidden in his prosthetic leg, reports Reuters. In claiming responsibility, the Islamic State said the explosion occurred in Sheikh Haqqani's office. The group had also claimed responsibility for a 2020 assassination attempt on the cleric, a proponent of girls' education, who the BBC reports was "a prominent critic" of the Islamic State Kohrasan Province (IS-K), a regional affiliate of the militant group.

The cleric was not related to Afghanistan's Haqqani militant group, based around the family of the same name. But he is "one of the highest profile figures to have been killed" in Afghanistan since the Taliban's return to power last year, per the BBC. "The Muslim community has been orphaned," tweeted Mobin Khan, a former spokesman for the Kabul police, per Al Jazeera. A senior Taliban official calls the cleric's death a "very huge loss," per Reuters. "We are investigating who this … person was and who had brought him to this important place to enter the personal office of Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani." (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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