• Restive tribal region sealed off, Afghan army asked to plug escape routes across border

• Uzbeks among over 150 killed in overnight assault by F-16s

• Announcements to be made for evacuation of local people

• Roadside bomb blast injures 3 troops, prompts artillery shelling

MIRAMSHAH: Seven people were killed in clashes that erupted on Sunday between two rival militants’ groups in the Shawal area of North Waziristan.

Sources said that the clashes took place between supporters of Commander Said Khan alias Sajna who recently disassociated from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and Commander Sheheryar Mehsud.

The volatile tribal region is under curfew since Saturday. Witnesses said that security forces opened fire at civilians in Miramshah for violating the curfew. One person was killed and another suffered injuries.

Meanwhile, thousands of people have fled the region over the past few days amid reports about the impending army operation. A senior official in Islamabad told Dawn that 59,000 people had so far left the tribal region for neighbouring districts.

Afghan officials say more than 6,000 people have taken refuge in south-western Khost province, bordering Pakistan.

A security official said that officers in Civil Colony in Miramshah had been asked to evacuate their families.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2014