5 killed in Tirah fighting
LANDI KOTAL/KOHAT: At least five persons were killed and three others injured as fighting between rival armed groups intensified in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency on Thursday. Also, a khasadar was killed by unidentified assailants in Jawaki area of Frontier Region of Kohat on Thursday.
Sources said that volunteers of Zakhakhel Qaumi Lashkar and members of banned militant organisation Lashkar-i-Islam traded heavy fire in Tora Vela of Tirah. They said that volunteers of tribal lashkar captured an important stronghold of the militant organisation in the valley.
Sources said that the daylong fierce clashes left at least five persons dead and three injured. Members of both the groups were among the dead and injured, they added.
They said that tribal volunteers also put on fire the house of Khan Zakhakhel, an important commander of Lashkar-i-Islam. The volunteers claimed to have established their foothold in Zaodin area besides strengthening their position in Tora Vela.
Both the areas were considered strongholds of Lashkar-i-Islam. Meanwhile, security forces imposed curfew in Qambarkhel area of Bara tehsil after demolishing a torture cell of a local militant organisation in Pakka Tarha locality. The area is under the control of Amr Bil Maroof Wa Nahi Anil Munkir.
Officials said that security forces asked Qambarkhel residents to hand them over some wanted militant commanders, hiding in the area. However, officials did not mention the names of wanted men.
Local sources said that with the imposition of indefinite curfew in Qambarkhel, routes leading to Tirah valley via Baz Garha and Shin Qamabar were effectively closed.
It was believed that militants of Lashkar-i-Islam and Amr Bil Maroof were using the said routes. Sources said that locals were faced with immense problems after imposition of curfew as they were unable to move out of heir houses. “Those locals who, have gone out, are not allowed to go back to their homes,” they added.
Sources said that elders of the area were engaged in secret negotiations with security forces and local administration to ease curfew in those parts of Qambarkhel where militants had no presence.
Meanwhile, a khasadar identified as Ajab Khan was killed by unidentified persons in Jawaki area of FR Kohat. The attackers fled the area after the incident. The motive behind the killing could not be ascertained.