Afghan cleric Rahimullah Haqqani reportedly killed in Kabul blast

Haqqani, who was mostly based in Pakistan, had close ties to Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers

Taliban fighters stand guard in Kabul. Rahimullah Haqqani died in Thursday's explosion at his seminary in the Afghan capital, local broadcaster TOLOnews reported. EPA
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

A prominent Afghan cleric who supported education for girls has been killed in a blast in Kabul.

Rahimullah Haqqani died in Thursday's explosion at his seminary in the Afghan capital, local broadcaster TOLOnews reported, quoting Bilal Karimi, a government spokesman.

Haqqani, who was mostly based across the border in the northern Pakistani city of Peshawar, had close ties to Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers and had met senior figures within their government on a trip to Kabul in April.

Although he did not directly criticise the Taliban’s decision not to reopen secondary schools for girls, he openly argued that Islam did not forbid female education.

"There is no justification in the Sharia to say female education is not allowed. No justification at all," he told the BBC in an interview at his madrassa in Peshawar earlier this year.

"All the religious books have stated female education is permissible and obligatory, because, for example, if a woman gets sick, in an Islamic environment like Afghanistan or Pakistan, and needs treatment, it's much better if she's treated by a female doctor."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for his killing.

Haqqani reportedly survived previous attempts on his life, including when gunmen in Peshawar opened fire on his convoy in 2013 and a bombing at his madrassa in October 2020.

Updated: August 12, 2022, 5:34 AM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL