ISLAMABAD: Qari Ajmal — a leading Pakistani militant leader wanted for organising the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore has been ‘killed’ in eastern Afghanistan, sources close to militants revealed on Sunday.
The attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team claimed the lives of seven police officials and left seven players including Mahela Jayawaredene, Kumar Sangakkara, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavitana and Chaminda Vaas injured.
Ajmal, a leader of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangi (LeJ), had fled to Waziristan after the attack and was associated with Hakimullah Mehsood, the chief of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who was killed in November 2013, tribal sources said. He later fled to Afghanistan like many other Pakistani militants and had been living with Mehsud Taliban in the Afghan province of Paktika, which borders Pakistan.
Sources close to the militants told The Express Tribune that Qari Ajmal was killed in a joint operation by foreign and Afghan troops in Aurgon area of Paktika.
Ajmal is the second senior Pakistani militant commander to have been killed in Afghanistan in nearly two weeks. The US-led Nato and Afghan forces killed leading Pakistani Taliban commander Azam Tariq and his son in Paktika earlier on September 25.
Separately, Omar Mansoor alias Naray, the mastermind of the brutal Army Public School (APS) attack that killed nearly 140 students and staff members in Peshawar, was killed in a US drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province, which also borders Pakistan.
Tribal sources say that the foreign and Afghan forces also arrested Naseer Waeer, a senior Taliban commander of Hakikmullah group during the operation in Paktika. Most Taliban relocated to Paktika from Waziristan as a result of ongoing military operations, according to security forces.
In August, three suspected terrorists, who were allegedly involved in the attack on the Sri Lankan team, were killed in a police encounter in Lahore’s Manawan area.