Pakistani militant chief killed in Nangarhar

Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) militant group head Mangal Bagh was killed in an IED blast in eastern Nangarhar province.

Nangarhar Governor Ziaul Haq Amarkhel said in a tweet that Bagh was killed in a bomb blast along with his two comrades in the Achin district of the province.

The blast took place in the Bandari locality of Achin on Thursday morning.

“Mangal Bagh, the leader of Lashkar-e-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 (Thursday),” Amarkhil tweeted.

Amarkhil stated that Mangal Bagh was involved in a number of “terrorist activities.”

 مخکې د #ننګرهار د اچين ولسوالۍ باندر درې څېړۍ کڅونه سيمه کې د خپلو دوو ملګرو سره د دوی له لوري د ځای پر ځای شوي ماين په چاودنه کې ووژل شو، منګل باغ په ياده سيمه کې په ګڼ شمېر ترهګريزو فعاليتونو کې لاس درلود.

— Ziaulhaq Amarkhil (@ZiaulhaqAmarkhi) January 28, 2021

Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) is a militant group founded in the Khyber District of Pakistan. The US stated that the group was affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

“His group earns revenue from drug trafficking, smuggling, kidnapping, raids on NATO convoys, and taxes on transit trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan,” the US State Department Reward for Justice said in a statement.

The Department had offered up to $3 million rewards for any information that could lead to the arrest of Bagh.

According to the State Department, Bagh has led Lashkar-e-Islam since 2006 and has routinely shifted alliances to protect illicit revenue streams while enforcing an extreme version of Deobandi Islam in the areas of eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan that he controls, particularly Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

“Born in Khyber Agency, Pakistan, he is believed to be in his mid-forties. Bagh is a member of the Afridi tribe. He studied at a madrasa for several years and later fought alongside militant groups in Afghanistan,” the statement read.