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Reuters

by Jibran Ahmed and Asif Shahzad

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Muslim cleric Sami ul-Haq, known as the "Father of the Taliban" for having taught some of the Afghan Islamist movement's leaders, was found killed on Friday in a Pakistani city, a relative and his deputy said.

Unknown attackers killed the cleric, who runs an Islamic seminary in northwestern Pakistan, his deputy Yousaf Shah said.

There were conflicting reports of exactly how he was killed and why his bodyguard and driver were apparently not there to defend him at the time of the attack.

Shah initially said that Haq had been shot dead.

Haq's nephew Mohammad Bilal told Reuters that his uncle was found with stabbing and gunshot wounds in a house he owns in an upscale area on Islamabad's outskirts. "When the assailants entered his house ... They first started hitting Mullah Sami ul-Haq with knives and daggers and then shot him dead," he said.

Further details remained unclear.

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