LANDI KOTAL, June 30: A jirga of Bara tehsil elders on Sunday secured the release of 16 people held captive by banned militant group Lashkar-i-Islam for the last three weeks.

Sources told Dawn that the LI activists had taken into custody a 60-member committee of Akkakhel tribe, led by Malik Zahir Shah. They said that Mr Shah had gone to a remote locality in Akkakhel on June 4 to seek permission of the LI chief, Mangal Bagh, for running election campaign for re-polling on 21 polling stations in Bara tehsil.

The committee was sent by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Suhail Afridi as he had been receiving threats from the LI not to run his campaign. Twenty members of the delegation were set free on the first day, while another 24 were released later on.

Headless body of one member of the delegation was found in Akkakhel a week after his abduction.

Later, a jirga was constituted to negotiate the release of the remaining 16 detained members. It was on Sunday that all of them were handed over to the jirga. Terms and conditions for release of the captive members could not be known, as the jirga members refuse to give details to media persons.

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