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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005, 10:49 GMT
Fugitive Taleban leader sentenced
A court in Pakistan has sentenced a top Taleban commander to life in prison for trying to kill a member of parliament.

Mullah Dadullah was convicted in absentia by the court in Quetta. He is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

He had been charged with trying to kill conservative Islamic politician Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani in 2004. Mr Sherani escaped unhurt.

Three other Afghans also received life sentences in absentia, as did two Pakistanis. A third was acquitted.

'No enmity'

Mr Sherani, who belongs to the hardline Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) party, was travelling along a road in his home constituency in Balochistan province when a remote-controlled bomb targeted his car on 18 November, 2004.

I don't know why these unfortunate people did it. I have no enmity with anyone
Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani

The JUI is a part of a six-party pro-Taleban Islamic alliance which is opposed to President Pervez Musharraf.

Mr Sherani is said to be the only person in the JUI who criticised the Taleban's actions and opposed them.

However, he told the Associated Press he had no idea why he had been attacked.

"I don't know why these unfortunate people did it. I have no enmity with anyone," he said.


Mullah Dadullah is a senior Taleban commander thought to be operating in eastern and south-eastern Afghanistan, and said to be close to Taleban leader Mullah Omar.

In June, reports suggested he had been surrounded by Afghan and US troops in Afghanistan's Zabul province.

Some 100 Taleban fighters were killed in the offensive but US troops failed to capture Mullah Dadullah.

Pakistan is a key ally of the US-led war on terror, and tens of thousands of its soldiers are deployed along the mountainous border with Afghanistan to hunt for al-Qaeda and Taleban fighters.

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