Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a former suspected Al Qaeda militant and founder of the banned Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al Islami group, has been gunned down in Afghanistan.
According to reports, Akhtar was killed during a clash with Afghan security forces in Birmil area of Paktika province bordering Pakistan. Sources said his family has been informed that he has been killed.
Hailing from Chishtian, Qari Akhtar was an active leader of militants based in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has previously worked as advisor of slain Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and was believed to have close ties to former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.—INP