Twelve militants, including two peace vigilantes, were killed and six militants were injured in clashes in various parts of the troubled Tirah valley in Khyber Agency on Wednesday.
The Ansarul Islam (AI) claimed it had gained control of 16 Taliban centres at Mamozai near Tirah. Similarly, the peace militia of Qamarkhel Takhtakai claimed occupying two check posts of Lashkar-i-Islam (LI). The rival LI militants have announced they arrested Qamarkhel tribesmen in the ravaged valley.
The raging fight entered day six and was continuing at the Khyber and Darai Sathanai check posts till the filing of this report with both sides using heavy arms in an attempt to gain control of the valley.
The militants of the TTP and LI moved the injured and the bodies to an undisclosed location in the valley.
AI claimed that one of the groups announced it was quitting the fight, saying that a letter to this effect was received by their ameer, Mehboobul Haq. Independent sources didn’t confirm the development.
In the last six days, more than 90 TTP militants, nine LI, 31 AI and five militiamen of Qamarkhel, have been killed while over 100 from all the groups have been injured.
Security forces imposed an indefinite curfew in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency on Wednesday.
A statement issued by the political administration also warned that the curfew has been imposed in the area for an indefinite time, saying that people should stay at home.
The administration said that the armed forces will continue their offensive till the areas around Peshawar were purged of militants.
The security forces decided to impose another curfew in Sheikhan village bordering Bara, from today (Thursday), residents told The Express Tribune Wednesday.
This has caused a widespread panic among the residents who were affected badly by the five-day curfew in the recent past as there was a severe shortage of food and even drinking water.
People have started moving women and children to avoid being stranded in the area for days without supplies.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2013.
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