PARACHINAR, April 6: An indefinite curfew was imposed and army troops were called out on Friday after clashes here between two sectarian groups left three people dead and 18 wounded, officials said.
Despite imposition of curfew, heavy fighting was continuing in the city till the filing of this report as clashes spread to other areas, including some far-off villages.
Both groups were using heavy and light weapons to target each other’s positions.
Tension had been brewing in the area adjacent to the Afghan border since last Sunday (April 1) when a sectarian group, taking part in the Eid Miladun Nabi procession chanted objectionable slogans.
The administration had arrested some 30 participants of the Eid Milad procession for raising the objectionable slogans and assured the rival sect of further action against elements who had raised the slogans.
Political Agent Sahibzada Muhammad Anis said that an indefinite curfew had been imposed and additional army troops called out to stop acts of lawlessness in the area.
He said a jirga of elders was being convened to broker a ceasefire between the two groups.
Hospital sources said that three bodies and 18 wounded people had been brought to the agency headquarters hospital, but locals said the number of casualties might increase as both sides were using heavy weapons.
Residents said that an ambulance was also attacked in the city in which three people, including the organiser of the Haideri Blood Bank, Inayat Hussain, were wounded.
Elders of the area say miscreants from both sides had been active in subverting peaceful environment in the agency for a long time but officials of the administration had turned a blind eye to their activities.