Qari Tahir Yaldashev, a leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.-File

PESHAWAR Qari Tahir Yaldashev, a leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, died in a US drone attack in South Waziristan last month, senior government and security officials said on Thursday.

The man has kicked the bucket, a senior government official said. Security official said that Yaldashev died in a drone attack in Kanigoram, South Waziristan, on Aug 27.

The man died on the spot, the security official said. This is a big blow to a violent foreign militant group that had spearheaded the campaign against Pakistan and its state agencies, he said.

An Uzbek, claiming to be the bodyguard of 30-year-old Yaldashev, had called Radio Liberty late last month to report the death of IMU leader. The man, who had declined to give his name, spoke the Uzbek language and said he was calling from somewhere in Pakistan.

The IMU leader died of head injury, the man told Radio Liberty. At the time, Pakistani officials had declined to confirm the death of Tahir Yaldashev, though speculations have been doing the round for quite some time.

But now a senior security official has said the IMU chief was killed in a drone attack. He is dead beyond doubt, the official said.

Tahir Yaldashev, known as Qari Farooq in South Waziristan, was born in Namangan, Uzbekistan, in 1967. His real name was Tahir Abduhalilovich Yoldashev.

Together with Jumaboi Ahmadinovich Khojaev he founded the IMU in Kabul in 1998.

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