Militant leader killed in Pakistan shoot-out

2015-07-29 08:12
Malik Ishaq (File, AFP)

Malik Ishaq (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lahore - The leader of an anti-Shi’ite militant group behind some of Pakistan's worst sectarian attacks was killed in a shoot-out with police on Wednesday, authorities said.

Malik Ishaq was shot dead along with several other senior Laskhar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) leaders in the eastern province of Punjab.

LeJ, long seen as close to al-Qaeda and more recently accused of developing links with the Islamic State group, has a reputation as one of Pakistan's most ruthless militant groups.

Ishaq, who has been in and out of police custody in recent years, was arrested on Saturday and was being moved when loyalists attacked the convoy in Muzaffargarh, a senior police official who took part in the encounter told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"The police retaliated and in the encounter Ishaq, his two sons and 11 others were killed, while six policemen were injured," he said.

Cache of explosives recovered

Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada confirmed to AFP that Ishaq and "13 other sectarian militants including two of his sons" had been killed in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Another senior police official said the attack came after Ishaq and the other LeJ cadres had been taken to recover a cache of explosives.

The cache included "three water coolers full of explosives, detonators, a Kalashnikov, some rifles and hundreds of bullets", the police official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"After the recovery when police were returning back, at around 03:00, more than a dozen terrorists attacked the convoy and tried to rescue Ishaq and others," the police official said.

He said all the six militants in police custody were killed along with eight of the attackers, while some of the would-be rescuers fled.

Mushtaq Rasoor, chief doctor at the government-run Muzaffargarh District Hospital, confirmed receiving 14 dead bodies.

Police encounters viewed with suspicion

There has been no immediate reaction from LeJ but police encounters in Pakistan have often being viewed with suspicion.

Ishaq gained notoriety for his anti-Shi’ite rhetoric and has been accused of masterminding dozens of attacks against the minority group.

LeJ had claimed responsibility for some of the most brazen attacks on Shi’ite minorities in Pakistan's recent history including a January 2013 bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta that killed over a hundred members of the Shi’ite Hazara minority group.

In February 2013, LeJ claimed responsibility for another attack in the same neighbourhood that killed around 80 members from the Hazara community.

Read more on:    pakistan  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.