Pakistani tribesmen capture five militants, torch three hideouts
A tribal squad comprising more than 3,000 armed volunteers on Thursday drove militants belonging to the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) out from Jamrud subdivision of Khyber Agency bordering Afghanistan and later set their three bases on fire.
The volunteers belonging to Mullagori tribe claimed to have detained five militants after an exchange of fire in which three militants were injured. They also claimed to have captured three vehicles of the militants and torched one of them while two others were handed over to the local administration.
The second round of ‘jirga’ (tribal council) chaired by Haji Abdul Mannan, attended by tribesmen from all sub-tribes of Mullagori tribe, decided to set the hideouts of militants on ablaze.
“Yes, we successfully purged the area of militants. Had we not evicted them, the military would have launched an operation which would take the lives of hundreds of innocent people, as is the case in other areas,” Haji Abdul Mannan, head of the ‘jirga’, said.
Mannan said they had torched all the three hideouts after a gun battle for almost one-and-a-half hour. “There were some 80 armed militants who could not face our 3,000 armed volunteers,” he said, vowing not to allow militants to operate in the area inhibited by Mullagori tribe.
The tribal elder said the ‘jirga’ had warned the tribesmen against sheltering militants and violators of the ‘jirga’ decision would be expelled from the agency and their houses demolished. Moreover, he added, a fine of Rs1 million would be imposed on a violator of the ‘jirga’ ruling.
Saying that tribesmen suffered loss of million of rupees during the gun battle with militants, Mannan said now they would provide all-out support to the government against militants. “It is our moral and religious obligation to defend our land and not to let anyone sabotage the memorable peace in the area,” he asserted.
During the operation by the tribal volunteers, a heavy contingent of police cordoned off the adjoining area to prevent militants from entering the adjoining settled area of the North West Frontier Province.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that Omar Gul, a prayer leader from Mullagori tribe who had settled in Landikotal area, was picked up by some unidentified gunmen.