8 killed in clash between rival groups near Bara
BARA: At least eight people were killed and about a dozen injured on Monday during a clash between members of militant organisation Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) and residents of the village of Bara Shaikhan on the outskirts of Peshawar.
According to AP, the trouble began when dozens of LI activists, who are led by Mangal Bagh and support Mufti Munir Shakir, tried to demolish the shrine of an Islamic saint in Shaikhan village. Local police officer Zardad Khan said the LI men claimed it was un-Islamic to worship at the shrine. He said villagers who revere the tomb resisted, sparking a shootout that led to the death of at least eight people.
The firing stopped when contingents of police and Levies were deployed to the region. Later, area residents staged a protest demonstration by placing the dead in the middle of the Ring Road. The locals’ initial attempts to march towards Peshawar city were blocked by police, angering the protesters. They chanted slogans against the government and Mangal Bagh and asked for action against the attackers. Eventually, the police relented and the protesters were allowed to march towards Peshawar along with the dead.
LI chief Mangal Bagh told journalists in Shaikhan that his men had attacked the region after the political administration failed to take action against drug smugglers of the area. He rejected the reports that LI activists had attempted to raze a shrine to the ground. Police officials at Sarband and Badh Bher police stations were unable to confirm the death toll.
Locals told Daily Times that Shaikhan is home to supporters of Pir Saifur Rehman, who was expelled from Bara last year under immense pressure from the LI. Clashes between his followers and those of Mufti Munir Shakir had killed dozens of people in recent years, AP reported.
The complete article can be found at Daily Times.