TANK, Feb 1: Unidentified armed persons kidnapped six elders of Bittani tribe in Omarkhel area here on Wednesday, sources said.

They said that the six elders were travelling in a car when armed men intercepted them at Omarkhel village and whisked them away along with their vehicle.

All the six elders including Malak Payo Gul, Malak Multan, Seri Khan, Ghazanmir, Haji Sarwar Khan and Khwaja Mir belong to Nematkhel clan of Bittani tribe.

It is pertinent to mention here that 23 members of the same tribe had been kidnapped by Taliban from Kariwam area of Frontier Region of Tank before the launch of operation Rah-i-Nejat in the region. Later, all of them were found dead.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the six elders.

Sources said that involvement of Taliban in the crime could not be ruled out as commander Turkistan Bittani had established a peace committee in the region in 2008 against militants.

In Khyber Agency, the beheaded body of a missing bread baker was found in Khowgakhel area on Wednesday morning.

The baker identified as Waris Khan was kidnapped by unidentified armed men on Tuesday evening when he was returning home from a nearby mosque after offering Maghrib prayers.

A chit found with his body said that he was executed on charges of spying against Taliban. Other people, who were found involved in such activities, would also meet the same fate, it added.

The deceased was laid to rest in a local graveyard.

In Mohmand Agency, a jirga of Safi Masood tribe on Wednesday decided that tribesmen would not accept any pressure to form peace committees.

The jirga, attended by about 300 tribesmen, was addressed by Haji Gul Nabi, Hussain Ahmad, Saeed Khan, Malak Mohammad Jan, Jangrez Khan and others.

“We are not ready to form peace committees in our areas forcefully,” they said. They also lashed out at political administration for raiding their houses and arresting innocent people.

The speakers said that administration called sniffer dogs to trace culprits in their area. “It is against our tribal system and also insult of our houses,” they told the jirga.

They said that the administration arrested Mian Lal Badshah and his family members unlawfully. “They are innocent,” the speakers said and demanded early release of the arrested tribesmen.

They said that they also held talks with commandant of Mohmand Rifle and political agent in that connection.

The jirga members also meet with Assistant Political Agent Rasool Khan in his office and informed him about the situation. The APA assured them that he would talk to high-ups to settle the issue amicably.

Updated Feb 02, 2012 12:16am

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