A spokesperson for anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan militant group called journalists on Thursday to assure them he was alive after intelligence officials claimed he was among 30 fighters killed in air strikes in Khyber region. Spokesman represents Mangal Bagh’s LI that was banned due to its terrorism.
The intelligence officials said air force jets had targeted militants belonging to Wahhabis-allied Deobandi (self-claimed) Lashkar-e-Islam, which announced an alliance with another Deobandi takfiri Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan earlier this month, and they named the group’s spokesman, Salahuddin Ayubi, as one of the fighters killed. The LI was banned by Pakistan’s government led by Saudi-allied Sunni ruler.
“I wanted to talk to you and other journalists and prove that I am alive,” Ayubi told Reuters.
“I would request our journalist brothers to check news about the killing of our commanders before reporting it to the media.”
Members of Deobandi takfiris who claimed itself Lashkar-e-Islam said on Wednesday they could neither confirm nor deny the intelligence officials’ version of events and that they were checking.
Ayubi denied more than 100 militants had been killed and said his Lashkar-e-Islam was “still in possession” of the valley. There is no way to confirm casualties independently as the area is sealed to journalists.