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The 'Father of the Taliban' Has Been Mysteriously Killed

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A Pakistani Muslim cleric known for his relationship with known and suspected terrorist leaders has been killed in what relatives are describing as a brutal murder.

As NBC News reported, Maulana Samiul Haq was instrumental in the administration of the Darul Uloom Haqqania University, which is said to have recruited and trained thousands of Taliban fighters.

It was unclear from initial reports how Haq was killed, with different sources indicating it was either a stabbing or shooting.

According to his nephew, the deadly attack on the man commonly referred to as “the father of the Taliban” came Friday during a brief period during which his bodyguard was away.

“It seems to be an organized attack as they knew that Maulana Samiul Haq was alone in the house,” Mohammad Bilal told NBC.

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He said the condition of his uncle’s body left little doubt that a group of attackers took part in the homicide.

“We don’t know about the number of assailants at the moment but from the body of my uncle seems that they had severely tortured him before taking his life,” Bilal said.

Haq’s body was found inside his Rawalpindi home on Friday.

His oldest son, Maulana Hamidul Haq, said the cleric had not received death threats or any other security alerts in the days leading up to his death.

In addition to a public demonstration by hundreds of mourners who took to the streets after hearing the news, a Taliban spokesperson released a statement denouncing the act.

“Those behind his killing were in fact the enemies of Islam,” said Zabihullah Mujahid.

Among Haq’s most infamous students was Mullah Mohammed Omar, who founded the Taliban nearly 30 years ago.

In a 2013 interview, he told Reuters that Omar was one of his best students and gushed when describing what his pupil has accomplished.

“He is a devout Muslim, very virtuous,” Haq said. “He is hospitable. He is a very simple man, with no princely tastes.”

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Haq went on to describe Omar as a “very intelligent” and “angel-like human being” who “understands politics and is wise to the tricks of outsiders.”

The incident added tension to ongoing protests in Pakistan surrounding the high court’s acquittal of a Christian woman previously sentenced to death for blasphemy.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Birthplace
Virginia
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Education
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Location
Arizona
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment




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