PESHAWAR An al Qaeda-linked militant who has called for attacks on China over its treatment of Muslims has been killed in a US missile strike in Pakistan, Pakistani intelligence and Taliban officials said on Monday.
China, a close ally of Pakistan, is worried about the spread of violence from militant strongholds in northwest Pakistan to its troubled far western Xinjiang region.
Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, leader of a group called the Turkistani Islamic Party (TIP), was killed in an attack by a US drone aircraft in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Feb. 15, they said.
“Abdul Haq al-Turkistani was among three militants killed,” said a Pakistani intelligence agency official who declined to be identified.
A Taliban militant official also said al-Turkistani had been killed in the US missile strike.
Last year, al-Turkistani appeared in a video on an Islamist website calling for Chinese people to be attacked at home and abroad.
“Their men should be killed and captured to seek the release of our brothers who are jailed in Eastern Turkistan,” al-Turkistani, sitting with an assault rifle by his side, said last year, referring to the region by an old name.
Described by an al Qaeda-linked website as the leader of TIP, he accused China of committing “barbaric massacres” of Muslims.
Xinjiang is home to 8 million Uighurs, a Turkic, largely Islamic people who share linguistic and cultural bonds with central Asia. Many resent a growing Han Chinese presence. — Reuters