Taliban’s most senior Quetta Council member dies of cancer, reportedly in Pakistan

Taliban-senior-leader-dies-of-cancerOne of the most senior Taliban figures in the group’s Quetta Council has died of cancer, reportedly in a specialized cancer hospital in Pakistan.

The Taliban group confirmed that Abdullah Gul Rayan died of cancer but did not elaborate further regarding his death and the location where he died.

According to a local newspaper in Pakistan, Daily Pakistan Global, Rayan was admitted at the hospital for cancer treatment.

Citing an Urdu daily report, the newspaper further added that Rayan died at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre.

The paper also added that Rayan was running a madrassa (seminary) in Quetta, from where several fighters had joined Mullah Umar in Taliban’s fight against United States and NATO armies.

The top Taliban leaders are believed to be based in Pakistan as the group’s leadership councils are mainly operating in Quetta and Peshawar cities.

Pakistani foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz confirmed earlier last month that Islamabad has influence on Taliban leadership and the country could use certain facilities the group’s leaders uses as a leverage to bring them to peace talks table.

Meanwhile, President Ghani asked Pakistan to take actions against the group’s leaderships in Peshawar and Pakistan, warning that Kabul would take the issue to the UN Security Council and other international organizations if the country failed to do so. -KP


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