[Lashkar-i-Islam is a creation of the intelligence agencies. It is only fitting that they are now waging war against the Pak Army (SEE: Waging War Upon Ourselves)
Before his promotion to terrorist overlord of Bara, and potentially, all of Khyber, Mangal Bagh was a mere bus driver. The Lashkar-i-Islam he commands began as a self-imposed religious police, brutally enforcing a warped Wahabbi version of Shariah Law that had been brought into Bara by a religious-terrorist named Haji Namdar, who had been brought in after finishing ten years of religious indoctrination in Saudi Arabia. Namdar had created the precursor to Lashkar-i-Islam, called "Tanzim Amr bil Maroof wa Nehi Anil Munkir" (the Suppression of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue). Lashkar was actually formed by his successor, a radical preacher Mufti Munir Shakir, whom Namdar had brought in for reinforcement. When the feud which Shakir had started with local Berelvi leader, Pir Saifur Rahman (over Shakir's "Radio Mullah" broadcasts) started looking like a religious war, the authorities stepped in and deported the radical Mufti from the war zone. At that point, Shakir's "Army of Islam" was turned over to Mangal Bagh. Today, the TTP are waging a campaign of terror against the Lashkar and Mangal's forces are eagerly reciprocating. That forces the Army to step-in between the two warring factions, causing heavier casualties to all parties involved.
There is no hope at all for Pakistan, until messes like this one are cleared-up. Don't forget to thank the Saudis and the CIA for every bomb blast in Khyber.]
More than 20 people were also wounded in the attack.—AFP/File photo
PESHAWAR: A suicide bomber targeted a mosque in a troubled tribal area of Northwest Pakistan on Friday killing at least 22 people and wounding more than 20, local officials said.
“The bomber detonated himself near the gate of a mosque in Tirah valley of Khyber tribal region when people were returning from the prayers,” local administration official Jamilur Rehman told AFP, adding that the casualty numbers may rise.
The mosque is located in an area controlled by warlord Mangal Bagh, he said explaining that “most of the dead belonged to Lashkar-i-Islam group lead by Mangal Bagh.”
The bomb, which also damaged the mosque, exploded in the same area where officials said a clash earlier in the day had left 10 soldiers and 23 militants dead.
The clash took place in Tirah valley of lawless Khyber tribal district bordering Afghanistan. — Photo by AP
PESHAWAR: At least 10 Pakistani soldiers and 23 militants were killed early Friday in a gunfight in a restive northwestern tribal area, officials said.
The clash took place in Tirah valley of lawless Khyber tribal district bordering Afghanistan.
“At least 10 soldiers embraced martyrdom and three others were wounded,” a senior security official told AFP.
“At least 23 militants were killed in the fighting which lasted for nearly six hours,” he added.
“Militants from Lashkar-e-Islam group attacked our outpost and a gunfight erupted,” Khyber administrator Mutahir Zeb Khan said, (According to Reuters, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan was the group behind the attack).
Military officials in Peshawar confirmed the attack and casualties.
Lashkar-e-Islam, which is led by warlord Mangal Bagh, is said to be linked to Taliban militants and criminal gangs.
It was not possible to independently verify the official account of the incident as access to the area is restricted by the military.
Some 18,000 people fled their homes in Khyber in October last year amid fears of a fresh onslaught of fighting between the army and Islamist militants linked to the Pakistani Taliban.
Pakistan’s seven tribal districts near the Afghan border are rife with homegrown insurgents and are strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives.