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Alleged mastermind of Sri Lankan team attack killed in Afghanistan

PESHAWAR: The alleged mastermind of the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore was reportedly killed in Afghanistan, sources said on Sunday.

Qari Ajmal, a suspected Pakistani militant wanted for attacking Sri Lanka’s cricket team in 2009, was killed during a joint operation by Nato and Afghan forces in Argon area of Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan.

Sources further revealed that Ajmal was a commander of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi Punjab and in the past had been associated with banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Earlier in August this year, three suspects charged with involvement in the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team were reportedly killed by Punjab’s Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD).

“The three terrorists [identified as Zubair alias Naik Muhammad, Abdul Wahab and Adnan Arshad] were also involved in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, in which six police officials were killed… and cricketers were injured,” the CTD had said after it killed the suspects during an encounter in Lahore.

An anti-terrorism court in June had indicted six members of a banned outfit in the Sri Lankan cricket team attack case.

The suspects included Obaidullah, Javed Anwar, Ibrahim Khalil, Abdul Wahab, Zubair and Adnan Arshad. The first three suspects are on bail, while others were behind bars.

All the suspects had pleaded not guilty and decided to contest the case during an in-camera hearing in Kot Lakhpat jail.

The alleged mastermind of the attack, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi chief Malik Ishaq, was killed in July last year during a shootout between CTD personnel and militants who tried to get their leader freed from custody in Muzaffargarh.

A bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricketers came under a gun and grenade attack at Liberty Chowk, near Qaddafi Stadium, on March 3, 2009. Seven players and an assistant coach were wounded, while eight Pakistanis were killed in the attack.

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