DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Four people were killed and 15 injured in mortar attacks in Wana, South Waziristan on Sunday.
Political administration officials said initially two mortar shells were fired from the northeast at Rustam Bazaar around 8.30am. One shell landed near the flourmills building, and the other near Wana Airport. There were no casualties reported till then, but there was partial property damage.
When militants affiliated with the pro-government Mullah Nazir Taliban group rushed towards the site to inquire about the incident, another mortar attack hit the area claiming four lives and injuring 15 others. A political administration official said two of the deceased were militants while the other two were passersby.
A witness Anwar Khan told The Express Tribune that he heard two loud blasts and saw people transporting the injured tribesmen in their vehicles. “The locals are always scared of such attacks at the bazaar and the fresh incidents have deepened these fears,” he added.
The injured were shifted to Agency Headquarters Hospital Wana. Wana Assistant Political Agent Shahid Ali also visited the hospital and directed officials to provide all facilities to the wounded. A hospital official said some of the injured were in critical condition.
No one claimed responsibility for the attacks till this report was filed.
On April 19, three rockets were fired at the same bazaar that hit an election meeting of an independent candidate Nasirullah Wazir. Two people were killed and 22 others were injured in the incident.
Most of the militants and leadership of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) belongs to the Mehsud tribe, while Mullah Nazir’s group comprises local militants from the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe of South Waziristan.
The differences between the two groups increased when the Mullah Nazir group expelled the TTP militants and Mehsud IDPs from Wana. Locals fear Sunday’s attacks could further widen the rift between the two tribes.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2013.