In the heart of the Afghan capital Kabul, a fatal shooting of two men, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani and Qari Saif Younis, almost went unnoticed. At the time, it was believed that they wanted to go unnoticed because the men were both found carrying fake IDs. Their bodies were found in a location where two deadly attacks had occurred in recent years, the Intercontinental Hotel. Sources in Pakistani intelligence and militant circles were able to identify that Haqqani and Younis were senior members of the Pakistani Taliban, a group that is responsible for suicide bombings and attacks that killed hundreds of Pakistanis. It remains a mystery, however, what exactly they were doing in Kabul and who killed them.
Sheikh Khalid Haqqani formerly served as the group’s deputy leader and is accused of involvement in several high-profile attacks on Pakistani politicians. He is also linked to the 2014 assault on a school in Peshawar, one of the country’s deadliest militant attacks that killed 150 people–mostly children. Qari Saif Younis was a military commander within the group. The men were due for a secret “meeting” in Kabul, according to one militant source. It was not said who they were meeting. The group’s leadership was travelling from eastern Afghan province of Paktika. The group being entirely separate from the Afghan Taliban, travelling to Kabul is highly unusual. The bodies of the men were handed back over to the militant group, which remains another part of the “intrigue.” Their funeral was held on Monday in eastern Kunar Province.