At least eight militants were killed and six injured when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) they were planting went off in the remote Khazana area of Landi Kotal in Khyber Agency on Tuesday.
Political administration official Shahid Afridi said militants belonging to Mangal Bagh’s Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) group were planting the IED at a security checkpoint which they captured from volunteers of a peace militia, but it exploded prematurely. At least eight fighters, including LI commander Khan Muhammad, were killed and another six wounded.
Afridi added that he was informed by a local that the incident occurred at around 10 am when the LI militants were trying to leave the area after destroying the checkpoint. Their fellow militants shifted the bodies to an undisclosed location along with the injured, local source said adding that most of the militants were from the Akkakhel area of Bara tehsil.
Afridi as well as a paramilitary official, Swalzar Khan, also told The Express Tribune that three bullet-riddled bodies were found in the remote area of Narai Baba near Tirah Valley.
Swalzar said LI militants gunned down three tribesmen whose identities could not be ascertained till the filing of this report. According to preliminary investigations, the bodies were of Akkakhel peace militia volunteers who had gunned down LI militants earlier.
They were then captured two weeks ago in an ambush in Akkakhel, and were killed in revenge. “The bodies were still lying there – no one has shifted them to their hometown yet,” Swalzar told The Express Tribune.
In Jamrud tehsil, a convoy of Nato containers was attacked with roadside bomb in Teddy Bazaar. According to Assistant Political Agent Bakhtiar Mohmand, the glass of one vehicle smashed and its tyre burst.
Meanwhile, a member of the Christian community was allegedly kidnapped from Jamrud Bazaar on Tuesday. Asif Massih and Yasir Massih filed a report at the political administration’s office stating that they, along with their friend Naveed Javaid, had come to the bazaar to settle a monetary issue, when a white car carrying six gunmen stopped and took Naveed away at gunpoint. Both men told officials that although the gunmen took away Naveed in the presence of Khasadar personnel, no one tried to stop the kidnappers.
Talking to The Express Tribune political administration official Asmatullah Wazir called the incident a “staged drama”, but added: “Maybe he was kidnapped over the monetary issue.”
With additional reporting by our correspondents in Bara and Jamrud
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2012.
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