Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Militant commander killed in Kurram clashes

Militant commander killed in Kurram clashes

By Our Correspondent | From the Newspaper
PARACHINAR, May 24: A militant commander was killed and three tribesmen were injured when fresh clashes erupted in Kurram tribal region on Tuesday, sources said.
They said that militant commander Fareed Marwat, a resident of Lakki Marwat district, was shot dead during a clash in Baleshkhel and Khar Kallay areas of upper Kurram.
Sources said that his body was sent to his native town. Three members of Turi tribe were also injured in the fighting, they added. Militants fired missiles and rockets from the hills of Tangi at the populated areas of Shalozan and Luqmankhel with some intervals, creating panic and fear among the residents. The residents expressed anguish over the silence of local administration and security forces.
Militants expedited their attacks soon after Peshawar corps commander and IG FC, during their addresses to a tribal jirga in Parachinar, hinted at launching a military operation in the tribal region.
The tribal elders had assured security forces of all out cooperation in case the operation was launched.
The elders of Turi-Bangash tribe, traders, ulema, members of parliament staged protest demonstration against local administration and FC personnel for allegedly supporting militants.
Complete shutdown was observed in Parachinar Bazaar and a rally was taken out by Turi tribesmen to lodge their protest against the alleged links between administration and their rival tribes.
The rally, after passing through various roads, converged on Hayat Shaheed Park where it turned into a big public meeting. The protesters were chanting slogans against government, administration and FC personnel.
The rally was addressed by head of Turi-Bangash tribe Capt (retired) Yousaf Turi, MNA Sajjid Turi, former Senator Alama Syed Abid Hussain, Alama Altaf Hussain and others.
They alleged that security forces were targeting their men instead of taking action against militants. "Despite our cooperation with security forces during operation such attitude is out of our understanding," they said.
They alleged that their two men were killed and several others injured in artillery shelling by security forces.
Meanwhile, deadlock was reported in the talks with militants for safe release of 31 kidnapped passengers. Sources said that Taliban demanded Rs60 million as ransom for release of 31 Turi tribesmen, who were kidnapped by them on March 26.
KOHAT: At least 15 houses were burnt when Taliban attacked Jammu area in Frontier Region of Kohat on Monday night.
The residents of the area had raised an armed lashkar against Taliban.
The militants, who came from Darra Adamkhel, torched several houses, forcing the inmates to run for their safety. The attackers sprinkled kerosene oil on the houses and set them on fire.
Fifteen houses were gutted completely, however, no loss of life was reported in the attack, according to an official press issued here on Tuesday.
Shafarish Khan, a local tribal elder, told Dawn that the tribesmen of Jammu had vacated the village on the orders of army for a search operation last month.
They were living in Kohat with their relatives and in rented houses and hotels, he added.
Security forces had also established two checkpoints in the village to stop intrusion of militants from Darra Adamkhel. But the biggest threat faced by the local tribesmen was rockets fired by militants from the mountains. Such attacks had claimed several lives.
The tribesmen had started returning to their homes recently after army took control of the village.

Warring group announces ceasefire in Kurram Agency

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
SADDA: Elders of six tribes of the Ahle Sunnat on Tuesday announced a unilateral ceasefire in Sadda tehsil of Kurram Agency in a bid to bring an end to the ongoing hostilities that left several people dead over the last three days. 

Talking to reporters, President of Anjum-e-Farooqia Fazal Qadir Orakzai, Qari Taj Muhammad and Abdul Karim said that they had directed their men to hold fire even if the armed men of Turi and Bangash tribes continue targeting them. 

They said that 15 persons were killed and 37 in-jured from both sides in the clashes. The local administration clamped curfew in Sadda bazaar for three days and all the schools and markets will remain closed during this period.

In Hangu, the people affected by the Kurram Agency violence accused the elders of a rival sect of violating the peace agreements. Led by the president of the Reforms Committee Attaullah, the affected people staged protest on Tuesday in front of the Hangu Press Club. 

Speaking on the occasion, Attaullah, Sawab Khan, Aziz Khan and Haji Bismillah Khan said the presence of organisations including Hizbullah and Mehdi Militia besides other outfits in upper Kurram was an attack on the sovereignty of the country. 

Earlier, elders of one of the sects had accused militants of attacking the Balishkhel village and harming the villagers.