SHIKARPUR: Twelve people were killed, among them two women and an eight-year-old girl, and 10 were wounded in a long and bloody clash between two rival groups of Jatoi tribe in Pir Dost Mohammad village in riverine area near Khanpur, 50km from here, on Monday.

Sources in the area told Dawn the rival tribesmen of Saad Khanani Jatoi and Badani Jatoi groups attacked each other with rockets and automatic weapons early in the morning, turning the area into a virtual battlefield.

The clash was said to be an offshoot of a running dispute between the groups which started after two men of Saad Khanani group were gunned down in a shoot-out with police and Saad Khanani tribesmen accused the Badani Jatoi group of giving away secret information to police about them.

The dispute has so far claimed 25 lives on both sides in over five years.

The sources said the deceased were identified as Kashmir, Kandero, Sarwar, Hazaro, Mataro, Atta Mohammad, Ali Mohammad of Saad Khanani group; and Nazal Jatoi, Ms Razia and Ms Sadori of Badani Jatoi group. A passerby, eight-year-old girl Naila, daughter of Sadruddin Channa, was also killed after she was caught in the crossfire.

The wounded were identified as Shah Bakhsh Shar, Hamal Jatoi, Dur Mohammad, Ms Hakim Zadi, Shah Dost, Ms Razul, Aliro and Mohammad Aim and others.

Sources said that police who arrived in the area too late failed to bring the situation under control. Police did make an attempt to enter the area in an armoured personnel carrier but an audacious rocket attack by tribesmen stopped them in their tracks.

Police, however, claimed to have caught some tribesmen and recovered two dead bodies from the area. The other bodies were reportedly still lying about the area as the clash raged on.

Police did not confirm the actual number of the deceased and the wounded but a spokesperson of Jatoi House said that 12 people had been killed so far in the deadly clash and expressed the fear the death toll might rise.

Published in Dawn, July 4th, 2017

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