Increase font size Decrease font size Reset font size

Ex-minister of Afghan Taliban gunned down

By Ali Hazrat Bacha 2014-02-18
PESHAWAR: An Afghan Taliban leader, who also reportedly served as a minister during the 1996-2001 Taliban`s rule in Afghanistan, was gunned down here on Monday.

Police said Mullah Abdul Rageeb was coming out of a seminary when unidentified assailants on a motorcycle attacked him, killing him on the spot. Mullah Rageeb was a teacher at the seminary situated in the city`s University Town.

The Persian-speaking Talibanleader hailed from Takhar province of Afghanistan.

According to sources, Mullah Rageeb was a supporter of the peace process between the Afghan Taliban and the government in Kabul.

An official said that at the time of attack Mullah Rageeb was accompanied by another teacher who identified himself as Manzoor.

Quoting Manzoor, the official said Mullah Rageeb was unmarried and lived in Pakistan alone.

His family was in Afghanistan and he spent summer vacations with them.The body was handed over to Rageeb`s relatives and his funeral might be held in his village in Afghanistan.

AFP adds: Peshawar police officer Mohammad Faisal confirmed the murder.

Speaking from Afghanistan, a Taliban member said that Mullah Rageeb was part of a group in Peshawar `which is in favour of making some connection with the Afghan government over possible peace talks` Another former Afghan minister, Aga Jan Motasim, said in a statement that leaders and jihadi commanders` of the AfghanTaliban were being targeted in Quetta and Peshawar.

`Mullah Abdul Rageeb was working for a peaceful Afghanistan,` he said, terming him a learned scholar, politician, social worker and `guardian of thousands of orphans`.

In a separate incident, a portion of a hotel in Peshawar`s Namak Mandi area was damaged in a bomb blast on Monday.

The blast occurred in one of the hotel`s washrooms. According to the bomb disposal unit, about 1kg of explosives was used for the blast.