Afghan guerrilla commander Sirajuddin Haqqani is being considered a possible successor to Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour who is believed to have been killed in US air strikes at the weekend.
Haqqani, who has a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, is widely seen by the US and Afghan officials as the most dangerous warlord in the Taliban insurgency, responsible for the most bloody attacks including one last month in Kabul which killed 64 people.
Sirajuddin Haqqani became one of two deputy Taliban commanders last year, integrating his feared militant faction known as the Haqqani Network, into the Afghan Taliban insurgency.
According to the Afghanistan government, Mansour was killed in an airstrike conducted by the United States.
The U.S. on the other hand has not yet confirmed his death.
Mansour’s death if confirmed, could trigger a succession battle within a Taliban insurgency that has proven extremely resilient despite a decade and a half of U.S. military deployments to Afghanistan.