Prominent Pakistani cleric, known as godfather of Taliban, assassinated in Rawalpindi

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Maulana Sami was a heart patient, Hamid said.

Haq's son, Hamidul Haq, confirmed that his father was killed on Friday.

"My father. was alone at his home", Hamidul told reporters. Haq was taken to a hospital, where he then died.

A security guard of Sami ul Haq also has sustained serious injury, the report said. The number of attackers involved also remained unclear. "They first started hitting Sami ul-Haq with knives and daggers and then shot him dead", he said.

Haq, 82, was a revered figure in Pakistan and Afghanistan whose views carried enormous weight among the Taliban on both sides of the border.

Among his many students in the 1980s was Mullah Mohammed Omar, who seized the opportunity after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan to found the Taliban movement at the end of that decade.

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DW interviewed Haq in 2015, during a visit to Haqqania.

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa condemned Haq's assassination and expressed grief over it, DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter. He added that the West never gave the Taliban a chance to implement its system.

A prominent Pakistani religious scholar and the leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islami Sami party Maulana Samiul Haq has been assassinated.

The Senate website describes him as: "A qualified religious scholar, an educationist, a research scholar and a lieutenant of his father, late Maulana Abdul Haq".

He recalled that Maulana Samiul Haq was one of the few clerics who had openly supported the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government in running polio eradication campaign.

Soon after his death, scores of Haq's supporters rioted, damaging shops and vehicles in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. His funeral is expected to be held Saturday in the northern town of Akora Khattak.

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