Monday, March 14, 2011

Eleven killed in Hangu van attack

Eleven killed in Hangu van attack

Published: March 14, 2011

The attack is the first major incident since the reopening of the Thall-Parachinar Road. PHOTO: FILE


At least 11 people, including three militants and eight passengers, were killed in an attack on a passenger vehicle in Hangu district on Sunday, according to police reports. The attack came barely a month after the reopening of Thall-Parachinar Road, after years of blockade in the highly volatile Kurram Agency.

Hangu district police chief Abdur Rashid Khan told The Express Tribune that at least eight passengers were killed and seven others were injured when suspected militants ambushed a passenger van, which was going to Kohat from the Kurram Agency, around 10:15 am. Khan further confirmed that local police also reached the scene where an exchange of fire resulted in the death of three militants.

Local sources told The Express Tribune that the attack took place approximately 40 kilometres west of the Hangu city in the Mamu Khwar area within the Doaba police station limits. The incident was termed a sectarian attack by locals, as most of those killed and injured were Shia Muslims.

Two Kalashnikovs and a rifle were seized from the possession of the militants. It has yet to be confirmed if there were only three militants, or more who fled the scene.

The attack was the first major incident since warring sects of the Kurram Agency agreed to open the closed road last month.

The road opening brought respite to a region where roads have remained closed for almost three years and locals had no choice but to travel to Afghanistan to reach Peshawar. Hangu district situated in the southern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has been in the grip of Taliban violence for the past few years.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2011.



Action sought against Kurram peace deal violator

PARACHINAR: Elders of Turi tribe in Kurram Agency on Sunday asked the government to take action against the violators of the recent peace agreement.

Speaking at a press conference, Yusuf Hussain and Shabbir Hussain said they were extending all-out support to the government and the grand tribal jirga to implement the peace agreement but alleged that the other side was flouting it. "The other party has made a mockery of the peace agreement," Yusuf Hussain said, asking the government to ensure implementation of the peace accord.

Thall-Parachinar Road remained closed for more than four years following the sectarian violence in Parachinar, the headquarters of Kurram Agency. However, it was reopened after a peace agreement was reached between the Sunni and Shia elders in Islamabad on February 3.


10 killed as passenger van attacked in Tal

Daily Times
Monday, March 14, 2011

10 killed as passenger van attacked in Tal

Abdul Saboor Khan

PESHAWAR: Unidentified armed men opened fire on a passenger van in Doaba Tal area of Hangu district on Sunday, killing at least ten passengers and wounding seven others.

Reportedly, the van carrying 17 passengers was heading towards Peshawar from Parachinar. 

According to Hangu District Police Officer, Abdul Rasheed Khan, ten people were killed and seven others wounded when the van was attacked by unidentified men near Mamoo Khwar village. 

The attackers, who numbered six, fled the scene but police later launched an operation in the area and killed three of them, Rashid told reporters at the Doaba Police Station. He claimed that a search operation had already been launched to arrest the remaining miscreants.

"After hours of cross-firing, we managed to kill three of them near Chargano Mela, a border area of Kurram Agency," the DPO added.

A police official, who wished anonymity, said that five passengers died on the spot and five more expired while receiving treatment at a hospital in Peshawar. This is the second such attack on a passenger van on Parachinar Road. Earlier, a coach had struck an improvised explosive device (IED) on the same road, injuring eight people. The road had been reopened after four years of its closure as per directives of Interior Minister Rehman Malik.