An al Qaeda-linked Uzbek militant leader was killed in Pakistan in a U.S. drone missile strike in August, Pakistani intelligence agency officials said on Friday. Tahir Yuldashev, leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, was killed in a missile strike in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border, where he had been based for some years, they said. "The man is dead. He was killed in a drone attack in South Waziristan on August 27," said one Pakistani intelligence agency official in the city of Peshawar. Another Pakistani security official said Yuldashev's colleagues had tried to keep his death secret. Pakistan's military spokesman was not available for comment. A close ally of both the Taliban and al Qaeda, Yuldashev was a leader in an Islamist militant underground opposed to the communist government in Uzbekistan before and after the break-up of the Soviet Union. He later fled to for the safety of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and fought on the Taliban side in Afghanistan's civil war. He fled to Waziristan after U.S.-led forced toppled the Taliban in late 2001. Yuldashev shot to prominence in March 2004, when Pakistani forces surrounded his base in South Waziristan, but he escaped while his fighters mounted a fierce defense.