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Pak Taliban rejects reports of Mangal Bagh’s appointment as Khyber militant chief

Peshawar, Apr. 12 (ANI): The Pakistan Taliban, also known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has denied reports of militant warlord Mangal Bagh being appointed the supreme leader of the Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) and TTP in northwestern Khyber tribal region.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the Hakimullah Mehsud-led TTP, said the TTP had ‘cordial relations’ with the Lashkar-i-Islam chief and the group as a whole, but denied reports that he had been made chief of both militant groups, reports The Dawn.

Earlier, media reports had quoted government officials as saying that the decision to elevate Mangal Bagh to status of ‘supreme commander’ for Khyber was taken at a joint meeting of the Taliban and LI commanders.

Ehsan denied that any such meeting had taken place.

The reports come at a time when the TTP has tightened its grip on the areas, snatched from Ansarul Islam, a pro-government armed group – including the strategic mountain valley of Tirah in Khyber. (ANI)