Pakistan police kill leader of banned Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi

Pakistani police say they have shot dead Malik Ishaq, the leader of banned Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Ishaq, who had been detained last week, was in a prison convoy in Punjab province when supporters opened fire in an attempt to free him, said police.

They said Ishaq was killed in a gun fight along with his two sons and 11 militants in Muzaffargarh district.

According to initial information, LeJ chief Malik Ishaq was being taken by counter terrorism department (CTD) officials to identify militants in a town near Muzaffargarh when the encounter took place. According to reports, men on motorcycles opened fire at the CTD convoy as soon as they reached Shahwala Jungle near Muzaffargarh in a bid to release Ishaq. Fourteen suspected militants, including the LeJ chief, were killed in the ensuing gun battle.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has been behind some of the most violent attacks on Shia Muslims in recent years.
Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada confirmed the news to AFP news agency, while a doctor at Muzaffargarh District Hospital said 14 bodies had been received there.

Police sources informed that chief of a banned outfit Malik Ishaq and his two sons Usman and Haq Nawaz were among the killed terrorists. Six police officers were also reported injured but correspondents say the details are unclear, and they have not been seen by the media.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was banned in Pakistan in 2001 and designated a terrorist group by the US in 2003. It is accused of killing hundreds of Shia Muslims in Pakistan.