LANDI KOTAL/PARACHINAR, Jan 19: The bullet riddled bodies of three abducted oil tanker drivers were found on Torkham Bypass Road in Khyber tribal region on Wednesday, officials said.
“The three drivers were shot in their heads from a close range with their hands tied at their back,” an official told Dawn . He said that three letters, written in Pashto and Urdu, were also found with the bodies.
The letters threatened transporters to stop supplying oil and other goods to Nato forces in Afghanistan, he added. “Anyone dares do so would meet the same fate,” he quoted the letter, which was without the name and stamp of any militant organisation.
Taliban had warned the transporters few months ago of dire consequences if they did not stop supplies to Nato forces in Afghanistan. Since then, attacks on oil tankers and containers have registered a sharp increase. A local militant organisation Abdullah Ezam Brigade has been claiming responsibility of most of these attacks.
Family sources of the deceased drivers said that unidentified armed men had attacked two empty oil tankers near Landi Kotal Bazaar on January 6 and abducted seven drivers.
One of the abducted drivers, Mushtaq, was killed on Jan 17 while the bodies of Ishtiaq, Abdul Wali and Salim were found at the roadside on Wednesday morning. All the deceased belonged to Jandakhel tribe of Kata Kushta in Jamrud tehsil.
The political administration had started a cleanup operation against Afghan nationals, residing in the region, after the abduction of the seven drivers. So far 1,200 houses of Afghans have been demolished in Sadukhel, Bacha Mena and Railway Station areas.
Meanwhile, militants kidnapped five tribesmen while two personnel of Levies Force went missing in Kurram Agency on Wednesday.
Sources said that militants kidnapped five tribesmen from Alisherzai area and shifted to unspecified location. They said that several militant groups were active in the area and involved in kidnapping of local people and supporters of each other.
In another incident, two personnel of Levies went missing in lower tehsil of Kurram on Tuesday. Officials said that the personnel were patrolling Defense Road but they didn't return to their main checkpost.
Meanwhile, four persons were killed and five others suffered injuries when a pick-up truck plunged into a ravine in central tehsil of the tribal region on Wednesday. The vehicle was going from Taby Tangi to Sadda, the tehsil headquarters of lower Kurram.
Locals said that the driver lost control over wheel while negotiating a sharp turn. The injured were shifted to a hospital in Sadda.