Tank: Militants kill 22 rival tribesmen
TANK: Pro-Baitullah Mehsud militants killed 22 rival tribesmen in Jandola the day after kidnapping them, an official said on Wednesday. They belonged to the Niamatkhel clan of the Bhittani tribe and were captured in clashes with militants on Monday.
Officials estimated that militants had kidnapped 30 people and eight were still missing. Barkatullah Marwat, District Coordination Officer of Tank, told Dawn that bodies of the victims had been retrieved from Kari Wam and Sor Ghar areas. All of them were buried later.
A spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Maulvi Umar, claimed responsibility for the killings, saying the fate of the eight people still in their custody would be decided by members of the Shura.
He warned government and security forces not to ‘meddle’ in the dispute. Otherwise the peace deal would suffer a “lasting damage”. Justifying action against the Niamatkhel clan, the spokesman said that Taliban would not relent in the campaign against “miscreants, robbers and kidnappers”.
“The (punitive) action is not aimed against any individual tribe. Taliban want to eliminate criminals,” said Maulvi Umar. Clashes between militants and the Niamatkhel clan took place in Jandola on Monday after which militants ‘captured’ the town and set on fire about 35 houses of their opponents.
Officials said that clashes had left 40 tribesmen and three militants dead. Sources said the militants were patrolling Jandola bazaar, where shops and markets remained closed. A tense calm ruled the area and security forces restricted their movement to the main fort.