NORTH WAZIRISTAN: Security forces on Tuesday killed a key suspect over the murder of four women vocational trainers in North Waziristan tribal district with the police warning the people against unnecessary movement and participation in public meetings and programmes amid reports about the growing activities of the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its allied groups in the area.

In a statement issued here, the Pakistan Army’s media wing, ISPR, said Hassan alias Sajna, a commander of the TTP Hafiz Gul Bahadar Group, was killed during an intelligence-based operation in Mirali area.

It said the terrorist was involved in the killing of four women vocational trainers in Mirali area on Monday.

“The killed terrorist was involved in terrorist activities against security forces and peaceful civilians, including IED attacks, kidnappings for ransom, targeted killings and extortion, and recruitment of terrorists,” it said, adding that a cache of arms was also seized.

Police ask North Waziristan people to restrict movement due to growing activities of banned outfit

Meanwhile, the office of the district police officer in Miramshah issued a one-page ‘advisory threat alert notice’ in the wake of the killing of four women.

The alert was issued in the wake of the Mirali terrorist attack and the one carried out on Sunday night in Shewa area, where terrorists opened fire on a vehicle killing the driver. Ten people were taken away by them.

In the advisory, the police said the Pakistan Army and police were conducting search and strike operations against militants in the area, so reaction from terrorists could not be ruled out.

They said the assassination of four women was the repercussion of the recent Pakistan Army attacks against the militants of the banned TTP.

“The local militant groups affiliated with each other are operating in the areas of Mirali tehsil. The TTP along with other members carried out this heinous act. Similar incidents are expected in future targeting the government’s friendly elders, surrendered militants, security forces, police and NGO workers,” read the advisory, which was sent to all relevant quarters.

In the advisory, the police asked residents to restrict their activities and change their travel routes and timings.

“Travel in bulletproof vehicle if someone has,” the police asked residents, who were also told to stay in contact with the relevant station house officers and police control room over phone.

The police asked the people neither to allow any unfamiliar person to come close nor share the schedule of their movement with anyone in advance.

They said the residents should avoid contact with unfamiliar persons and update the district police before entering and leaving North Waziristan tribal district.

In the advisory, the police asked their personnel to wear bulletproof jackets and helmets during their duty and said all personnel should equip themselves with small machineguns and four magazines loaded with 120 rounds.

All station house officers of the district were told to put up pickets at the entry and exit points in their respective areas and deploy personnel to them.

The police said there was a complete ban on the movement and display of weapons across the district, so action would be taken against the ban violators under the Arms Act, 2013.

They said the arrested people would be asked if they’d any links with the TTP and that SHOs would collect information about the hideouts of terrorists and ensure arrest of terrorists.

The police said the DPO would either supervise interrogation of terrorists after their arrest or he would personally interrogate the suspect.

Meanwhile, the residents say the situation is deteriorating across North Waziristan tribal district, so they’ve restricted unnecessary movement.

According to them, security forces and police have heavy presence in the district but despite that, target killings and attacks against forces continue.

“People do not come out of their homes after sunset due to lawlessness and the situation is reverting to the one, which prevailed before the Zarb-i-Azb military operation in June 2014,” said a resident of Miramshah requesting anonymity.

He said a jirga of Dawar and Ahmadzai Wazir tribes would take place in Nezamia Madressah in Eidek village on Monday to discuss the situation.

“We need peace and not development projects,” he said, adding that elders have already conveyed their concerns about it to the district administration.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2021

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