LANDIKOTAL: Villagers found three bodies on Wednesday in an area in the Khyber tribal region where a tribal militia had publicly executed three men earlier this week after accusing them of being cohorts of a powerful militant commander.
The bodies, bearing gunshot wounds, were discovered in the Zakhakhel bazaar area of Landi Kotal subdivision. An official of the Khasadar force (tribal police) identified the dead as Khanay, Jumma Khan and Aryana.
The official blamed a local militia, Tauheed-e-Islam. “These men were shot dead for allegedly spying for the banned extremist group Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) and planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the area,” the official said on condition of anonymity. He added that the militia has claimed responsibility for the grisly murders. An official of the political administration confirmed the deaths but said the dead men ‘could not be identified’ and refused to say how they were killed.
On March 17, the Tauheed-e-Islam militia had publicly executed three suspected LeI members in the same area, though security forces and political authorities denied any such executions in the region.
Security forces have rounded up eight suspected militants during a search operation in Kandaokhel area since Tuesday night. They also defused two bombs planted at the Landikotal helipad, according to official sources.
On March 18, 14 bodies, bearing torture marks, were discovered by villagers in the Bara subdivision of Khyber Agency.
Local residents blamed the paramilitary Frontier Corps, which is conducting operations in the area, for the killing – an allegation that the force denied.
4 killed in N Waziristan
At least four people were killed and eight injured in separate incidents of violence in North Waziristan agency.
“Clashes between the Hurmaz and Muski sub-tribes in Mir Ali sub-division left one person killed and five other injured,” said an official of the political administration.
Eyewitnesses told The Express Tribune that the sub-tribes exchanged heavy gunfire over a land dispute. Tribal elders intervened late evening and proposed a jirga.
In another tribal feud, three people were killed and three others were injured when two families clashed over the ownership of the Datta Khel bus stand. The culprits involved in the killings managed to escape. Later, a routine patrol by security forces resulted in their vehicle being hit by a roadside bomb, in the Khathonry area, North Waziristan.
(With additional input by our correspondent in MiraMshah)
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2012.
By Abuzar Afridi