SHABQADAR: Three teenagers were critically wounded in a landmine blast in Mohmand, while another teenager died and three others were injured in a cross-firing incident in Safi.
Three teenage boys including two brothers were critically wounded when a landmine hidden in the mountain went off on them when they were cutting grass for their cattle in Sagi area of Safi Tehsil Mohmand tribal district on Saturday morning.
Mohmand tribal district administration, while confirming the incident has said that the landmine was hidden in Sagi. These boys Iftikhar, age 12, Bilal and Mukamil Shah age 10 were cutting grass for their animal when they hit the landmine and it exploded, the locals have shifted them to nearby Mamad Gat hospital for treatment where according to the hospital administration one of Iftikhar’s leg was totally paralyzed and was shifted to the Peshawar in critical condition, while the others were stable and under treatment in the hospital.
In another incident, a teenaged boy Zeeshan died in a cross-firing between the two rival groups in Safi Ziarat over a land dispute, while three others were injured. The local police have registered an FIR in the case and have arrested five suspects in the cross-firing.
The deceased’s family has put his dead body in front of the Mohmand Press Club at Ghallanai and demanded that the real culprit be arrested and accused the local police and administration of helping the suspect.
Moreover, at FATA Research Center, an institute working on the overall security situation in merged tribal districts, its chief expert Irfanuddin while talking to Express Tribune has said that landmines or Improvised Explosive Device (IED) improvised explosive devices are still a major threat to both tribesmen and security forces stationed in the tribal districts.
He said that these mines were planted by militant organisations after their withdrawal from the area. Though most were cleared by the security forces after operation Zarb-e-Azab, some still remain in Khyber and Rahe Nijat, but the tribal districts have a large number of these explosives, making locals highly vulnerable. Security forces are regularly working on defusing them.
He added that a major hurdle was that sometimes these landmines were hit by floods and would, not only move due to the water but would also cause a blast in such cases. He said that in Bajaur and Mohmand apart from the security forces, local peace militia were also victims of it, while in some areas local experts used it against their rivals in local disputes.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2019.