Chief of Pakistan’s outlawed militant outfit, Lashkar-i-Islam, has been killed in a roadside bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, the provincial governor said.
“Mangal Bagh, the leader of Lashkar-i-Islam terrorist group, was killed along with two of his comrades in a roadside bomb blast in the Bandar Dara area of Achin district of Nangarhar this morning,” Governor Zia-ul-Haq Amarkhil wrote on his Twitter handle.
Mangal Bagh carried up to $3 million head money under US State Department’s Reward for Peace.
Mangal Bagh was involved in terrorist activities in the border area, added Zia, who is also senior advisor to President Ashraf Ghani on political and public affairs.
Lashkar-i-Islam group was affiliated with the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Mangal Bagh, a truck cleaner-turned-warlord, spelled reign of terror in Bara tehsil of the former Khyber Agency until June 2008 when the armed group was wiped in a security operation. Since then he was on the run, mostly operating from southern Afghanistan where his group has found safe havens.
A Pakistani Pashto-language news channel broke the news before Governor Zia. It said quoting a source that Mangal Bagh was killed in a roadside bomb blast in front of his house in Achin district, Nangarhar province, around noon.
In the past, Mangal Bagh’s killing was reported several times, but every time he came forward to deny the reports of his death. He was seriously injured in an airstrike by Afghan forces.
Mangal Bagh has led Lashkar-i-Islam since 2006 and enforced an extreme version of Deobandi Islam in the areas of eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan that he controls, particularly Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.
He was born in the Bagh area of Khyber Agency. A member of the Afridi tribe, he studied at a madrassah for several years and later fought in Afghainstan.