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2 Oct, 2009 15:19

Al-Qaeda linked to Uzbek terrorist killed in Pakistan

A major Uzbek terrorist leader has been killed by a US missile in South Pakistan, according to Pakistani security officials.

Tahir Yuldashev is reported to have been killed on August 27 in South Waziristan on the Afghan border, but only now has his identity been officially confirmed.

The leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) was a close ally of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and began operating in Pakistan in 2001.

The IMU is on the Russian, the American, and the UK's blacklist of terrorist organizations. Formed in the mid nineties, its goal was to set up an Islamic state in Uzbekistan and ultimately throughout Central Asia.

Yuldashev is also known for tipping-off the US about the planned 9/11 attacks weeks before they took place.

Previously the militant’s death had been reported many times, but usually he himself refuted all those reports.

On Friday, when the information was revealed, Yuldashev would have turned 42.

Meanwhile, the IMU is just one of many terrorist groups active in Central Asia, according to Ekaterina Koldunova from the Moscow State University of International Relations. The destabilization of this group won’t change the situation in general, she believes.

“The situation shows that the US military policy is not very effective. Even though major leaders are killed, it’s only scratching the surface. The situation should be influenced politically, by economic and complex measures, including a military aspect,” she told RT.