Top Afghan Taliban aide shot dead in Pakistan

Akhundzada was visiting Pakistan over Eid holidays when he was attacked

Our Correspondent April 20, 2024
Taliban religious scholar Mohammad Omar Jan Akhundzada is seen in this undated photo from the Taliban Ministry of Information and Culture.

A close aide of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Habitullah Akhundzada and former bodyguard of another leader, Mullah Mansoor, was assassinated in Pakistan by unknown assailants near the Pak-Afghan border on Saturday.

The deceased, identified as Mohammad Omar Jan Akhundzada, was leading evening prayers at a mosque in the city of Quetta on Thursday when he was attacked. 

There are no immediate claims of responsibility for the deadly shooting.

Akhundzada hailed from Zabul province and held the position of chief at a seminary in Kandahar.

Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), urged local authorities to take decisive action against those responsible for the assassination.

The deceased was reportedly on Eid holidays and was visiting family in the area .

The loss of a senior member has sent a shockwaves within the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as the killed leader was reportedly targeted by the militant Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) in Pakistan.

Read Pak-Afghan border at Torkham set to reopen

Following the withdrawal of United States-led foreign forces in August 2021, numerous central religious figures and associates of the Taliban have been targeted for assassination within Afghanistan, including in the capital, Kabul.

The ISKP, a regional affiliate of the Islamic State and a fierce rival of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for a significant number of these attacks.


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