MIRAMSHAH: While the government is preparing a roadmap for peace talks with militants, a faction of Taliban has asked people living near Miramshah to move their families to safer areas by Friday.
The Shura Mujahideen North Waziristan, led by Commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, also directed shopkeepers in Miramshah town to shift their expensive goods to other areas.
The warning was issued in the wake of recent shelling by security forces of civilian targets in the area. Two civilians were killed and four injured in the shelling.
A pamphlet distributed in Miramshah after Friday prayers asked residents of Derpakhel, Datakhel, Toolkhel, Tabbai, Dandy and Matchus to shift their women and children to other places in North Waziristan. Residents of villages along main roads have been directed to vacate their homes.
“The Shura has tried to respect a peace agreement which is still intact but the army has resorted to fierce shelling over the past few days which has killed and wounded children, women and elders,” said the statement in Urdu.
Security forces started shelling the area after unidentified men attacked a checkpost near Miramshah Bazaar on Monday night. One soldier was killed and three were injured.
Troops fired back and residential areas in Zafar Town and Derpakhel were hit. Local people said that artillery shells landed on houses, killing two civilians and injuring four.
Security forces resumed firing on Wednesday and hit the Abdul Manan Market and two schools. But there was no loss of life.
The Shura asked people of North Waziristan to provide shelter to displaced families in their hujras (outhouses) and schools. The decision, the statement said, had been made for the sake of safety of civilians.
The pamphlet warned that the government alone would be responsible for security of military convoys in the volatile area.
Under the peace agreement signed by Taliban and elders of Utmanzai tribe in 2006, local people were responsible for protecting military convoys and government property in the area. But despite the agreement, the convoys have been frequently attacked.