During a jirga convened on Thursday in Miranshah, North Waziristan, to discuss the killing of the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) personnel, tribal elders were given a two-day deadline to apprehend the assailants.
Unidentified militants opened fire at FWO personnel Wednesday afternoon while they were working on the Mir Ali Bypass Road. As a result, one staffer died while three others were injured, according to a security official.
Earlier that morning, an FWO truck also came under attack in the agency headquarters, but no one was injured. The truck was en route to Miranshah from Bannu when it was attacked by unidentified militants who fired rockets at the vehicle. The assailants narrowly escaped following retaliation by security forces. A passerby was also injured in the crossfire.
During the jirga on Thursday, Political Agent Siraj Ahmad Khan directed Mir Ali tehsil’s political administration official, Tariq Khan, to order the Dawar tribe to apprehend and hand over the culprits within two days or leave the area.
The tribesmen assured political administration officials and security forces of their cooperation with the government and said an investigation would be carried out to apprehend the perpetrators.
Also addressing the jirga, security forces official Brigadier Tahir Mehmood said the FWO project was aimed at facilitating tribesmen of the agency. “The project involves constructing the Bannu-Ghulam Khan Road at an approximate cost of Rs6 billion and will bring prosperity to the agency,” he said.
A curfew was imposed by the political agent in North Waziristan from 6am till 2pm Thursday as all educational institutes and business activities remained shut. Tribesmen were also instructed to limit their movement and not use main routes in the agency.
FWO personnel have been attacked several times in the past. On September 3, two FWO personnel were injured when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle on Miranshah-Bannu Road. On the same day, a driver of an FWO vehicle was kidnapped from Ghulam Khan tehsil.
On September 16, three personnel were kidnapped by unidentified persons in Ghulam Khan. They were, however, recovered within 72 hours of the deadline imposed on the political agent for their recovery.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2012.