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ISLAMABAD: The week-long bloody clashes between rival tribesmen in Kurram tribal district have left 28 killed and 40 injured amid continued communication blackout and road blockade, creating a grave humanitarian crisis in a population of around 0.5 million.

Parachinar, the district headquarters, has been completely disconnected from the rest of the country for the last one week, as the only route – Thall-Parachinar road – connecting Upper Kurram with the rest of the country is closed for all kinds of traffic due to security reasons.

Local officials told Business Recorder that bloody clashes continued on Monday in many parts of the tribal district, including in Boshehra, Dandar Colony, KunjAlizai, Muqbal, TariMangal, and Pewar in Upper Kurram while in Balishkhel and Khar Kali in Lower Kurram.

On Sunday night, local sources maintained that six people were killed and 11 injured after an intense exchange of fire between the warring groups in KunjAlizai, Ghaous Gharhi, and Muqbal villages.

They said the death toll had reached 28 during the week-long clashes in which the rival tribes continued to attack each other positions with low, medium and heavy weapons which also resulted in injuries to 40 others and serious damages to private properties.

An official of the local administration in Parachinar told this correspondent on the condition of anonymity that all the efforts for restoration of peace, including by elders from both sides, have so far failed to broker a ceasefire and reach a durable peace accord.

“We are in touch with elders from both sides as well as elders from other districts including Hangu and Kohat with a view to restore the peace and we hope that we will be able to restore the peace anytime soon,” the official hoped.

However, the tribesmen blamed the local administration’s inaction and lack of seriousness to resolve the pending issues ranging from land disputes to arresting of culprits involved in target killings.

“The government miserably failed to arrest the terrorists involved in the killing of seven teachers and their drivers in Tari Mangal High School in May this year despite repeated calls, protest demonstrations and sit-ins that continued since

the incident happened,” said Ali Jawad Turi, a

local elder.

Giving further details, he said the current bloody clashes started following the brutal killing of two labourers in Shelozan Tangi on October 22 followed by October 24 target killing incident of three others in Peshawar.

He added that on October 26, a tragic incident unfolded as 12 passengers belonging to Turi tribes were killed in Charkhel area of Lower Kurram in a security convoy when armed militants opened fire with automatic machine guns and fled the scene.

“The current crisis is not only because of these terror incidents, there are a number of pending land disputes among rival tribes that need to be resolved in the earliest,” he added.

Riaz Ali Turi, a social worker, told this correspondent that the week-long road blockade has created serious crises in Upper Kurram.

He said the services of cellular networks and internet services remained shut for the last many days which has brought a complete blackout on the population of around 0.5 million.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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