Militants attack Hamza Baba’s shrine in Landi kotal
LANDI KOTAL: Militants on Friday attacked the shrine of great Pashto poet, Amir Hamza Shinwari, near the Charwazgai area in Landikotal subdivision of Khyber Agency, local residents and officials said.
Ikram Shinwari, a member of the Khassadar Force, told The News that several militants stormed the shrine at 3am and asked him to vacate it or face the consequences. “When I refused entry to them, they hurled two hand-grenades and tried to jump into the compound of the shrine. I also returned fire from the guardroom and informed my seniors about the attack,” Shinwari said. He said the militants also fired several rockets, destroying a shop and the boundary wall of the shrine.
Shinwari said Landikotal’s Assistant Political Agent, Iqbal Khattak, along with a contingent of Khassadars and Levies Force, reached the spot. The militants fled after a brief exchange of fire. Security forces then launched a search operation in the area. Residents said this is the fourth attack on the shrine by militants in the last two years. Amir Hamza Shinwari, reverentially referred to as Hamza Baba, was the most popular Pashto poet and is often called “Baba-e-Ghazal”.