Chief of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) Maliq Ishaq, along with 13 militants were killed in Muzaffargarh Wednesday during a firefight after gunmen attacked a police convoy and released him when he was being transferred, police said. According to initial information, head LeJ Malik Ishaq, along with his two sons are being taken by the department to combat terrorism (CTD) officials to a city of Muzaffargarh where they had seized a cache of weapons to identify men who He had been arrested on suspicion of being members of Ishaq group.
As the police convoy returned at dawn on Wednesday, a group of men on motorcycles ambushed them it near Shahwala jungle in an attempt to free Ishaq. Fourteen suspected militants, including the head LeJ, were killed in the ensuing firefight. The two sons of Ishaq Usman Haq Nawaz and Ghulam Rasool of LeJ and two children were also killed. In addition, CTD Punjab said six members of the anti-terrorist force (ATF) were also wounded in the encounter. tribune
“Twelve to 15 terrorists attacked the police released the accused … and fled on motorcycles,” a police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar, quoted a policeman in the area as saying in a message. Police on the road that armed men attacked as they fled, killing Ishaq, two children, and 11 others, police said Ghazanfar said in his message. Ishaq postmortem is currently underway in the District Headquarters Hospital, Muzaffargarh. The bodies of the dead and injured officers were taken to the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Muzaffargarh. All hospital doors were sealed shortly thereafter. “Ten of the 14 militants killed in the encounter belonged to Al Qaeda,” said a spokesman for the CTD Express News. He also said that they are seeking the help of NADRA in identifying the deceased.
Ishaq was on a US list of global terrorists and the group he founded has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of civilians. It has faced several murder trials, but was always acquitted after witnesses refused to testify against him. He was arrested again on Saturday, under a Maintenance of Public Order Act, along with their two children.
Ishaq supporters protest in Rahim Yar Khan
Shortly after the news of the death of the head LeJ broke his supporters took to the streets of Rahim Yar Khan and attacked police vans. A demonstration is also reported taking place outside the residence of Ishaq Rahim Yar Khan. Moreover, reports suggest demonstrations are also gaining momentum in Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahwalpur. Following this, the Punjab police has stepped up security across the province. In addition, it has called on all processions and meetings of the Shiite community to be minimized or temporarily suspended for security reasons.