The security forces launched the operation against Lashkar-i-Islam, despite the fact that it was the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan — not Lashkar-i-Islam — which claimed carrying out attacks.       — AP (File Photo)

LANDI KOTAL: Fourteen bullet-riddled bodies were found in Speen Qabar,  Bara, on Sunday, a day after security forces left the area.

Local people told Dawn that the bullet-riddled bodies with their faces having acid burn wounds, had been brought by volunteers of a welfare organisation to Mandai Kas area and kept there for identification.

“Eleven of the dead were recognised with the help of their clothes and shoes by their relatives and were handed over to them. Three unidentified bodies were buried in one grave,” said Turab Ali, a resident of Sipah area.

He said the 14 men went missing from Alamgudar when security forces launched an operation in Speen Qabar, Yousuf Talab, Mandai Kas, Jansi and Dawra areas of Sipah on March 12, implying involvement of security forces in the incident.

The political administration and security officials denied having any knowledge of the bodies but later said their identity was yet to be ascertained. In the afternoon, security officials issued a press note, saying they had nothing to do with the killing of innocent people and “any such report is baseless and devoid of facts”.

The press note circulated among local journalists through SMS (short messaging service) said: “The operation codenamed Biya Daraghlam was conducted in Bara, Khyber Agency, between March 12 and 18 with an aim to clear the area of Lashkar-i-Islam terrorists involved in the bombing of a bus terminal on Kohat road, suicide attack on SP Kalam Khan, Badabher (Peshawar) killing, and abduction for ransom. During the five-day operation, 25 miscreants were killed and four security personnel lost their lives and 12 suffered injuries.”

The security forces launched the operation against Lashkar-i-Islam, despite the fact that it was the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan — not Lashkar-i-Islam — which claimed it had carried out the attacks.—Ibrahim Shinwari

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