Malik Ishaq, the chief of banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) linked to Al Qaeda has been killed in an encounter in Pakistan’s Punjab province, said police on 29 July.
Along with Ishaq, his two sons and 11 top members of the group were also killed. He was believed to be the mastermind of 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. LeJ along with its ties to Al Qaeda, has been accused of developing links with the Islamic State group.
He personally supervised dozens of attacks against minority Shia community, Ishaq and his sons, Usman and Haq Nawaz, and 11 group members were killed in a police encounter last night in Muzaffargarh district.
At least six cops police injured in the encounter that lasted for more than two hours, they said. A week ago, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) arrested Ishaq and his sons.
Ishaq, his sons and three other militants were taken to by the CTD for recovery of weapons and it was on their return that they were attacked by LeJ militants, said a senior police officer. “The militants were freed by the attackers who fled on a motorbike,” he said.
A CTD officer, when informed about the incident, challenged the militants , leading to heavy exchange of fire. “In the clash, 14 militants were killed, including Ishaq and two sons, while three cops were also injured,” he said.
Ishaq belonged to Rahimyar Khan district of Punjab and his death is a big blow to the LeJ, involved in killing of hundreds of Shias, said a CTD spokesperson.
The LeJ chief, one of the founders of the group set up in mid-1990s, was involved in many murder cases and was arrested in 1997. He was kept in jail for 14 years and released in 2011.