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Taliban may have ordered murder of MQM leader: report

The Taliban may have ordered the assassination of top MQM leader Imran Farooq in Lodon as it had issued a 'fatwa' against the party for its opposition to Muslim fundamentalism in Pakistan, a media report said.

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The Taliban may have ordered the assassination of top MQM leader Imran Farooq here as it had issued a 'fatwa' against the party for its opposition to Muslim fundamentalism in Pakistan, a media report said today.

The theory emerged as Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command took charge of the investigation into the murder of Farooq who was stabbed and beaten to death outside his north-west London home late on Thursday afternoon.

Detectives are hunting a lone Asian man in connection with the attack which was witnessed by several people. 

Initially, the murder - in broad daylight - appeared to be a clumsy attack carried out by someone with a personal grudge, the Daily Mail reported.
    
But the possibility that 50-year-old Farooq, was the victim of a political assassination appeared to gather credence after Muttahida Quami Movement members in London claimed the Taliban had issued a fatwa against party officials for their staunch opposition to Muslim fundamentalism in Pakistan.

There was widespread violence in Karachi as gangs torched vehicles and a shop in the city where gas stations, schools and markets were closed and public transport halted yesterday as news Farooq's death spread. 

Scotland yard refused to speculate on possible motives for the killing in a quiet suburban road in Edgware, insisting officers were keeping an open mind.

The Yard's decision to take the investigation from the Murder Squad and hand it to the counter Terrorism Command increased speculation that Farooq was targeted by the Taliban or one of its supporters.

Farooq fled Pakistan in 1999 and was granted asylum in Britain after a price was put on his head 'dead or alive'. 

Last year the Taliban sent a DVD to the party threatening death to the leaders if they continued to oppose them. Farooq leaves his wife Shumaila and sons Alisha, five, and Zeesham, three.

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