SWABI, Jan 3: The bullet-riddled body of a local mosque’s prayer leader was found in the Shahmansoor mountains of Swabi district on Thursday.

A police official said the prayer leader, Naseebullah alias Zarbat Khan, belonged to Orakzai Agency and that he went missing after he offered Asr prayer in his mosque on Wednesday.

The official said it had yet to be ascertained if the prayer leader fell victim to militancy or a family dispute. The body was later handed over to the family.

SUSPECTS HELD: Local police are learnt to have arrested five suspects over the killing of seven aid workers near the Anbar interchange in Swabi district.

Police sources told Dawn on Thursday that these suspects had been picked up from different parts of the district before being shifted to an unidentified location for interrogation to trace killers.

The sources said more arrests over the killings couldn’t be ruled out. They said police and the district administration had been under pressure from different quarters for early arrest of the culpable people. When contacted, local superintendent of police Abdul Rashid confirmed the arrests and said the suspects were being quizzed. He, however, refused to name the arrested men.

“It cannot be disclosed at this crucial phase of investigation who they are, where they hail from and which groups they belong to. Any disclosure in this respect at this point can harm investigation,” he said.

Mr Rashid said the killing of aid workers was an act of terrorists as no one other could be behind the carnage.

He put the number of attackers at two, correcting the earlier police tally of four.

Driver Abdul Majid, who was injured in the attack, has already said two motorcyclists fired gunshots at him and aid workers in the van when they were returning from NGO Support With Working Solution’s community centre in Sher Afzal Banda area. — Correspondent

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