Tuesday, May 24, 2011

8 militants, soldier killed in Mohmand clash

8 militants, soldier killed in Mohmand clash

Dawn Report | From the Newspaper

Four persons were killed and 19 others received injuries in sporadic clashes between rival factions in different parts of Kurram Agency on Monday.
According to unconfirmed reports nine more bodies were found in the area between Sadda and Balishkhel. However, officials and residents of Sadda town denied the reports.
Sources said that security forces were targeting positions of the rival factions with artillery and tanks in Balishkhel and Sadda to dislodge armed men, but they had not been fully succeeded. Sadda town was still under curfew.
The rival groups were attacking each other positions with rockets, mortars and heavy guns. Several houses were also damaged in Balishkhel, Sadda, Sangina and Khar villages. Locals have evacuated women and children from the embattled areas.
They said that three children were injured when rockets fired from Tangi area hit houses in Shalozan near Parachinar. The wounded children were shifted to the agency headquarters hospital in Parachinar.
Officials said that political administration formed a joint jirga, which started talks with the rival groups to broker ceasefire between the residents of Sadda and Balishkhel.
A spokesman for Tanzeem Majlis-i-Ulema, Kurram Agency Allama Mohammad Ibrahim Muhammadi urged the government to take decisive action against militants in the area.
He said that militants resorted to violence after corps commander hinted at launching a military operation in the area. He said that militants attacked Balishkhel after the announcement of launching military operation.
He said that trouble-makers had made people in lower and central Kurram hostages. He alleged that militants had entered Kurram from other tribal agencies and local administration failed to block their entry.

Tribal violence: Kurram Agency clashes leave five dead

Toll from two days of skirmishes rises to 12. PHOTO: AFP
At least five people including two children were killed in the ongoing clashes between two tribes in the Lower Kurram Agency late on Sunday.
According to sources, the clashes took place in the Khar Killay area of the Lower Kurram Agency near Sadda town.
"Armed men attacked the village leaving five people dead, including two children," a local told The Express Tribune.
A day earlier at least eight people were killed and 12 others were injured in similar skirmishes in the agency. Sources said these clashes, started with disputes over installation of electricity pylons, are now spreading to other parts of the restive agency. The toll in the last two days has risen to at least 12 dead.
Violence erupted in the wake of reports that the army was mulling an offensive in the agency, said Corps Commander Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik, hinting at a military operation in his interaction with a tribal jirga in Parachinar on May 19.
Malik said the authorities were planning a strategy to clear the area of militants and to make the Thall-Parachinar Road safer for travelling. The road was opened following an agreement between the warring tribes earlier this year in February. However, it collapsed weeks later after militants kidnapped around two dozen tribesmen in the Baggan area of Lower Kurram on March 26.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2011.

Curfew in Kurram Agency

Pakistan Observer
Curfew in Kurram Agency
Tariq Saeed

Peshawar—Indefinite curfew was clamped Monday in Kurram Agency following the sectarian uprisings in Sadda resulted in killing of as many as 16 people and serious injuries to over three dozens others. 

On the other hand a fresh missile hit by the American drones in North Waziristan Agency killed up to seven more people Monday afternoon. The bloody clashes between the two villages of Sadda Kurram Agency namely Balish Khel and Khuwaar Kalay belonging to rival sects, started clashing some four days back. 

More than twenty five people from both sides were injured and ten sustained wounds in the violent clashes between the two religious sects. 

The officials in the political administration said the two sides taking positions against each other were using highly sophisticate weapons including mortar guns. High tension gripped the Sadda City. 

Sources said those killed in clashes included equal number of people from Sunni and Shia sects. 20 members of the Sunni community and six Shiites were so for wounded. The injured were rushed to various hospitals of the Kurram agency. 

The warring Sunni clans include Khuwaar Kalay, Sadda Bazaar and Mirukach while Balish Khel Sangeena and Ibrahimzai's were fighting from Shiite community. A political administration official said since both the groups were using sophisticated weapons including mortar guns and rocket launchers, number of shells fell on the houses of civilian population killing around a dozen people. 

Following failure on part of the Kurram militia and the political administration of Kurram to effect ceasefire between the warring groups, the security forces Monday imposed curfew in Sadda and took control of the City to avoid further bloodshed. The army and FC have setup their posts at various points in the city and patrolling in the city to timely thwart any untoward incident. Besides, as the reports say, a tribal Jirga is also striving to effect truce between the rival sects with the Jirga elders expressing optimism to succeed in their efforts. 

In the meanwhile, yet another drone attack in North Waziristan Agency on Monday left at least seven people dead and many others wounded. 

Local sources say, the CIA operated pilot less spying planes or the drones targeted a vehicle in Michchi Khel area some ten kilometers west of Tehsil Mir Ali of NWA around 4.50 in the evening killing as many as four people o board the coach. 

"The predator planes fired two missiles on the vehicle which was destroyed completely on main Mir Ali highway and at least four people were killed in the fresh missiles hit by the American planes on the spot while three more succumbed to their injuries later on". A source told Pakistan observer adding there were no reports if those killed were the militants though some officials say the target of the missiles hit were the alleged terrorists

NA body for declaring Parachinar disaster-hit

The Nation Newspaper Pakistan

NA body for declaring Parachinar disaster-hit

Published: May 21, 2011
ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights held meeting on Friday that recommended the ministry of defence and the chief of army staff to take up the issue of Parachinar, restore 73 educational institutions and arrange PIA or C-130 facility for victims. 
MNA Riaz Fatyana chaired the committee meeting which recommended that DG management crisis cell, additional secretaries, ministry of interior, ministry of defence and representatives of Fata will also visit the areas. It recommended that victim students should be given admission in other Pakistani educational intuitions while mobile medical units should be provided to the areas. The committee appealed to the interior minister to resolve the matter at the earliest. It also urged the federal government to declare Parachinar a disaster-affected area and provide the people with all facilities including the provision of food.


The Haqqani's shaky peace deal in Kurram Agency

A glance at the conflict in Afghanistan

MONDAY, 23 MAY 2011

The Haqqani's shaky peace deal in Kurram Agency

When Sunni and Shia tribesmen in the strategically important Kurram Agency in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas signed a peace agreement in February this year, it was clear that something was afoot. The two groups had been at each other's throats for several years. Shia members of the Turi tribe living in Upper Kurram had been the subject of a murderous campaign by neighbouring Sunni Bangash tribesmen and had been cut off from the rest of Pakistan by ambushes and road blocks that had seen hundreds of Shias taken out of buses and murdered at the side of the road. The main road to Peshawar, for example, had been closed since 2007, despite attempts by the Pakistani army to keep it open. According to some accounts, the Shias have been armed and supported by the Iranian regime, which is also predominantly Shia.
Much of this anti-Shia violence has been directed by Hakimullah Mahsud, now leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, but once its emir in Kurram, Orakzai and Khyber. Mahsud is vehemently anti-Shia, regarding them as 'pagans'. He has encouraged his fighters fleeing the Pakistani offensives in both South Waziristan and also Swat to regroup in Orakzai and Kurram and to take on the Shias.
The peace agreement was brokered by the Haqqanis, the family/tribal group who make up one of the main factions of the Afghan Taliban - whose members come from the Zadran tribe. The so-called Haqqani network is now recognised as the most sophisticated and capable insurgent organisation in Afghanistan, operating out of its main bases in North Waziristan. 
Under pressure from the CIA drone campaign in North Waziristan and with the support of elements of the Pakistan military, who provide their finance and weapons, the Haqqanis have been looking to move their operations into Kurram, which provides easy access to Afghanistan. Kurram suits the bill perfectly, as it served as a major staging post for attacks against Soviet forces during the 1980s. Osama bin Laden helped build some of the training camps in the region and it is thought that the remnants of al-Qaeda - as well as other foreign forces in the region such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan - and also Pakistani jihadist groups close to the military such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba will benefit from the peace deal with the Turi tribe.
According to a new report from the Institute for the Study of War and the American Enterprise Institute's Critical Threats Project , written by Jeffrey Dressler and Reza Jan, the Haqqani's move into Kurram will have negative consequences for security and stability in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. They say it will become more difficult to identify, track and strike these groups once they have relocated.
This may be true, although it can hardly be in Iran's interests to allow the Taliban to come to power in Afghanistan. Nor is it likely that the deeply sectarian Sunnis under the command of Hakimullah Mahsud will be able to restrain themselves from killing Shias for very long, thus provoking yet another round of bloodletting in the region. This is a very shaky peace agreement indeed.

4 more killed in Kurram clashes

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SADDA: Four more people were killed and 14 others sustained injuries in the ongoing clashes between armed tribal groups in Balishkhel village of the troubled Kurram Agency on Monday, tribal sources said.

The sources said several houses were also damaged in the clashes. At least eight people were killed and 17 others injured on Sunday in the clashes that erupted on Saturday. The sources said the security forces also targeted the trenches of the armed groups to force them stop fighting. On Sunday, the security forces had warned the warring groups to vacate their trenches by 2 p.m. but they did not do so. 

Thousands of armed men belonging to Turi tribe on Sunday night attacked the Khar Killay and Sadda town but the assault was repulsed, the sources said. The combatants include members of Turi, Bangash, Mangal and other tribes, they added. 

On the other hand, Assistant Political Agent Javedullah Mahsud convened a jirga of Mangal tribe elders to broker ceasefire between the two groups. The official told the elders that the political administration wanted to bring an end to the hostilities. The sources said Mangal elders agreed to the ceasefire.

Daily Times
Tribal clashes kill five more in Kurram
PARACHINAR: Clashes between two tribal groups entered their third day in Lower Kurram Agency as five more people were killed and 13 injured in fresh fighting in parts of the agency, official sources said Monday. The tribal groups of Khwar Kalay and Balishkhel villages in Sadda tehsil opened fire on each other with automatic weapons that resulted in the death of five people. The clashes between the two groups erupted on Saturday over a land and water dispute. Residents of these villages have started migrating to safer places. On Sunday, nine persons were killed and several others injured, as the death toll of three days of fighting has mounted to 15. The situation in Balishkhel, Khwar Kalay, Shalozan, Bughdai and Luqmankhel is still tense, and the tribal people have demanded the government to take cogent measures to restore peace. app