15 killed in Khyber clashes
LANDI KOTAL/PARACHINAR: Security forces claimed to have killed at least 10 militants in a counter-attack after insurgents targeted a checkpoint in Bara area of Khyber Agency on Saturday night, killing four tribal volunteers and a khasadar.
Bara Assistant Political Agent Rehan Khattak told Dawn on Sunday that a group of militants had attacked the Dro Adda checkpoint in Akkakhel area, killing four volunteers of a local peace lashkar and a khasadar official. Two vehicles of the lashkar were also damaged in the attack.
He said that militants used heavy and light weapons in their attack on the checkpoint, jointly manned by the lashkar volunteers and security forces.
In the counter-attack, Mr Khattak claimed, security forces and the tribal lashkar killed at least 10 insurgents and seized a huge quantity of arms and ammunition.
The political administration of Khyber Agency had only recently persuaded the Akkakhel tribesmen to raise a tribal lashkar against militant groups operating in the area to check their subversive activities in the neighbouring Matani town of Peshawar district. The lashkar, in collaboration with Khasadar Force and Frontier Corps, had set up a number of checkpoints along the Akkakhel-Matani Road and intensified patrolling in the area to keep tabs on the activities of militants.
Though nobody has so far claimed responsibility for the attack on the checkpoint, local sources said that both local Taliban and Mangal Bagh’s banned outfit Lashkar-i-Islam were active in the area.
Three days ago, militants had kidnapped three pro-government elders from the area and later killed them with a warning that fate of other pro-government elders or lashkar volunteers would be no different.
Meanwhile, three persons were killed when gunmen attacked a vehicle in lower Kurram Agency on Sunday. The vehicle was going from Alizai to Merokhel when armed persons attacked it with automatic weapons. Three persons identified as Mohammad Nabi, Mushtaq Hussain and Amin Hussain were killed in the incident.
The residents of Alizai and Merokhel intercepted the attackers and exchanged fire with them. Witnesses said that attackers escaped towards Zeranay Narray area.
Meanwhile, unidentified persons kidnapped two brothers — Wakeel Khan and Arqeen Khan — from Talo Kunj village in lower Kurram.