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Tribal Shias as cannon-fodder to fight the Taliban menace

Pakistani security establishment is playing a dangerous game by forcing Shias of tribal areas to rise against Taliban. On 10 October, Army forced Shia tribe Alizai to form a lashkar in Orakzai agency while providing little protection and logistic support to the Alizai tribe. As a result, the Alizai jirga was attacked by Taliban and more than 100 people killed. The pro-Jihadi and pro-Sipah Sahaba elements within secuirty establishment are a threat to national scurity.

Taliban-tribes row preceded bombing

By Abdul Sami Paracha

KOHAT, Oct 11: The death toll of Friday’s suicide attack at a jirga in Orakzai Agency rose to 60.

Officials told Dawn on Saturday that evidence gathered so far from the blast site pointed to the Taliban of the Darra Adamkhel who had entered the tribal region last month.

An official report said that a 20-year-old clean-shaven youth drove his explosive-laden white truck into the jirga and detonated it. The jirga was about to send a tribal lashkar led by 25 elders to destroy the Taliban headquarters in the area.

The sources said that on Sept 28, the Taliban had asked the Alikhel tribe, the biggest and the most influential in the area, and its sub-clans – Hasratkhel, Mirwaskhel, Sokari, Zamkakhel and Baba Almasay – to leave the area because they belonged to Shia community. The tribesmen had left the area.

The political agent had summoned a grand jirga of all the 18 tribes of the Orakzai Agency in Hangu on Sept 30 and got the area cleared of the Taliban employing a lashkar on Oct 6.

The next day the Alikhel tribe returned to their homes and held a jirga on Oct 7 to take collective action against the Taliban along with the representatives of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat. On Oct 10, the tribesmen gathered at Khadizai to destroy the Taliban headquarters and houses of people sheltering them.

According to the official report, the administration knew that Taliban would attack the Alikhel jirga but no action was taken to avert it. Officials said that the report was not final and many aspects of the attack remained to be investigated.

The administration had sent several teams to nearby villages to gather information about the missing people to ascertain the exact death toll, officials said.

The intensity of the blast indicated that about 250 to 300 kilogrammes of explosives made from urea, petrol and RDX were used, said Bomb Disposal Squad Chief Akbar Khan.

Political Agent Kamran Zeb said that tribesmen had found a clue but were waiting for burial before pointing finger at anybody or take action against the suspected perpetrators. (Dawn)

SOME COMMENTS:

Utmankhel1:

Dont worry …………… the more the criticism the more pakhtoon should be backing Asfandyar Wali khan as the enemies on the other side of attock will only starting crying when they find Asfandyar Wali is doing something good for his people.

Just look at …. and get a clue of whats happening with Pakhtoons and Balochs in Pakistan. The majority Brethren (Brethren lols …….) will create so much noise as to make the true voices of these peole unaudible. This will continue till Pakhtoons recognise their enemies. Hopefully the spectacular success of ANP in these elections have shown that Pakhtoons can now distinguish between their Leaders and their Enemies.

They are so shameless people that none of them would talk of the 113 dead and more than hundered injured just two days ago.

They are shamelessly abusing their leaders and instead of sympathising with Pakhtoons they are sprinkling salt over their wounds ……………..they are pushing the Pakhtoons to the wall. I dont know how much can the Pakhtoons tolerate untill and when will they strike back ………………………. just like the Balochs are doing now ……………………………..

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Abdul Nishapuri

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  • 43 killed as suicide bomber hits tribal Jirga in Orakzai

    Saturday, October 11, 2008

    Scores injured; pro-govt tribesmen targeted

    By Syed Hasan Mahmood, Syed Yasir Shah & Mushtaq Yusufzai

    KALAYA/KOHAT/PESHAWAR: Forty-three members of the Ali Khel tribe were killed and scores of others injured, many of them seriously, when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden pick-up truck into a Jirga in Hadeezai area of the Orakzai tribal agency on Friday afternoon. Official and tribal sources said the death toll could mount as many of the injured shifted to various hospitals in Orakzai, Hangu and Kohat were in a critical condition. The victims also included children.

    Eyewitnesses told The News from Ghiljo, the Tehsil headquarters of the Orakzai Agency, that over 2,000 tribesmen of the Ali Khel tribe were holding a Jirga when a young suicide bomber, driving an explosives-packed pick-up truck, entered there and blew himself up.

    The Ali Khel tribe, which had raised an armed tribal Lashkar against the Taliban militants and destroyed two of their training centres in Hadeezai and Kronz villages of Orakzai Agency, had convened the grand Jirga for future line of action against the militants. One of the witnesses, Meraj Gul, who shifted his two injured brothers to the District Headquarters Hospital, Kohat, told The News by telephone that he saw several bodies on the ground after the blast. He said over 200 people were injured and were crying for help.

    He said the Jirga had just started its proceedings and tribal elders, including Haji Sabeel, Subedar Qadir Shah, Maulana Surat Gul and Dost Ali Khan, were informing the Jirga members about their successes and future strategy when the suicide bomber carried out the attack. Except for Haji Sabeel, who was leading the Jirga, all the remaining tribal chieftains lost their lives in the attack. The sources said the Ali Khel tribal Lashkar had destroyed two main centres of Taliban and announced to set on fire more of their hideouts in Dabori, Hadeezai and Ghiljo.

    The News 2008

    ……..

    40 elders killed in attack on Orakzai jirga

    * 90 wounded in attack on elders gathered to raise lashkar against Taliban
    * Zardari, Gilani say such attacks will not deter government’s resolve to root out terrorism

    HANGU/PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD: At least 40 people were killed, while around 90 were wounded when a suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle targeted an anti-Taliban jirga on Friday in Orakzai Agency.

    The attack occurred in the Khadezai area of Upper Orakzai Agency where a jirga of the Ali Khel tribe was in progress, witnesses and tribal elders told Daily Times.

    A witness said at least 32 people died on the spot, while more than 40 were injured in the attack, which left an eight-foot deep crater in the ground.

    A local tribesman Taj Mohammad, who was injured in the blast, said a double cabin pickup ‘hit the participants of the jirga’, held after Friday prayers. He said the jirga had earlier destroyed two Taliban hideouts and fined four Taliban Rs 200,000 each.

    The tribesmen, backed by authorities, were trying to raise tribal militias in Orakzai to drive out Taliban and Al Qaeda from the area, when the bomber struck.

    “We were busy in raising a lashkar to evict Taliban from the region when this attack took place,” Qeemat Khan Orakzai, a jirga member told Reuters.

    Kamran Zeb, a top government official in Orakzai, told Reuters “The lashkar had taken a decision to destroy militants’ headquarters in the region. Shortly afterwards, this attack took place.”

    The blast occurred about 10 kilometeres from the Ghaluj tehsil, and hospital sources in Gahluj hospital said 25 dead bodies and 70 injured had been brought to the hospital.

    Locals said they faced shortage of blood and ambulances and the injured were being shifted to Hangu in vans.

    Hangu District Nazim Haji Afzal was supervising the relief activities in the district.

    Ealier, local tribesmen destroyed two Taliban hideouts, including the houses of two Taliban commanders in the Dabori area of the agency.

    The jirga, which had started its anti-Taliban operation in Dabori was to continue it in Khadezai on Friday.

    Government resolve: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the suicide attack. Zardari said the terrorists were bent upon destroying peace, and such attacks would not deter the government’s resolve to root out terrorism.

    Gilani said the government was determined to clamp down on terrorists with an iron hand.

    saboor khan/agencies

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\10\11\story_11-10-2008_pg1_1

  • Eight Jirga members gunned down in Orakzai

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    KALAYA: Unknown armed men on Thursday shot dead eight Firozkhel tribal elders, who were returning from a peace Jirga near Babarke village of Utmankhel, Orakzai Agency.

    The dead included Mirza Ali Khan, Sharif Khan, Abdul Mateen, Zarmad Khan, Jamshid Khan, Zainuddin, Gulab Khan and Abdul Hadi, who were on way to their village.The Ferozkhel Qaumi Lashkar vowed to avenge the killings of their tribesmen.

    The political administration, however, said the tribesmen were killed somewhere else and their bodies were thrown in Babarke village. However, eyewitnesses disputed the claim of the administration and said they were killed in Babarke village.

    APP adds: An official of the political administration while confirming the incident said the tribesmen belonging to Firozkhel tribe were going to Chapri area in a pick-up. When they reached Babarke, a group of armed men started firing at them. As a result, eight tribesmen were killed.

    According to some reports, the gunmen later kidnapped about 10 other tribesmen and shifted them to undisclosed location. The official said the motive behind the brutal killings could not be ascertained.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=17978

    …..

  • Orakzai suicide blast death toll reaches 85

    * Victims buried in ancestral areas
    * Tribesmen exchange fire with Taliban
    * Tribal elder says suicide bomber was 15 or 16 years old

    HANGU/KOHAT/PESHAWAR: The death toll from the Orakzai suicide blast has reached 85, while 200 were injured, Daily Times learnt on Saturday.

    Hospital sources, however, claimed that 75 people were dead and 165 injured.

    Fifty-nine victims of the suicide attack were buried in their ancestral areas on Saturday – sixteen in Teerhai, seven in Pachuna, four in Tourab, eight in Kot, 13 in Khadezai, one in Butkeli, four in Gulab and seven in Dabori.

    Sixty-five bodies have been identified, and 32 out of the 65 injured brought to the Hangu District Headquarters Hospital have been taken to Peshawar. Another 65 had been admitted to Ghalju tehsil hospital, and the critically injured amongst them were shifted to hospitals in Kohat and Peshawar.

    Thirty-seven of the injured are being treated at the Babul Madina Medical Centre, while 65 injured were admitted to KDA Hospital in Kohat and 32 injured were admitted in Peshawar.

    Tribal elders told Daily Times that the blast left a 12-foot long, eight-foot deep and 10-foot wide crater.

    Retaliation: Tribesmen traded fire with Taliban and demolished their houses in retaliation for Friday’s suicide attack, residents and officials told Reuters. “Everyone is angry and upset here. The tribesmen attacked houses of Taliban in Khadezai after the bombing. Two houses have been demolished,” Noorzad Orakzai, a resident of the Khadezai area, told Reuters by telephone.

    Teenage bomber: One of the injured told AFP he saw the teenage bomber drive a pick-up truck laden with explosives to the edge of the crowd.

    “I was sitting on the outside of the jirga,” Haji Kamal Shah said. “I saw a young boy, perhaps only 15 or 16, driving a Datsun pick-up. He got to the crowd and then the vehicle exploded.

    “People fell on the ground screaming. Some were children because (people of) all ages attended the meeting. We were discussing a tribal force against militants.”

    Tribesmen expressed their determination to combat Taliban and Al Qaeda.

    “We are sad over yesterday’s attack, but God willing we will defeat these terrorists,” Hazrat Noor, a tribal elder, said. saboor khan/agencies

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\10\12\story_12-10-2008_pg7_4