KOHAT: A violent clash between two tribes left 14 people, including a policeman, dead and 12 injured in Darra Adam Khel area of Kohat district on Monday.

Among the deceased, eleven belonged to the Sunny Khel tribe, while three were from the Akhorwal tribe. All 12 injured belonged to the Sunny Khel tribe.

The fighting ensued at 5pm when rival tribesmen, entrenched in mountains, attacked the other side with heavy weapons. The army was called in to stop the rampage and force the tribesmen down from the mountains.

The two tribes have been fighting over a four-mile stretch of coal mountain occupied by the Akhorwals.

The authorities have yet to register a case. An official of the Darra Adam Khel administration, Azam Khan, told Dawn that the FIR has not been registered as tribes do not recognise the law and prefer to solve disputes through a jirga.

Acrimonious history

The Sunny Khel and Akhorwal tribes have been involved in a bloody feud over the encroachment of coal mines since 2019 and the renewed hostilities are a continuation of the dispute.

The district official, Mr Khan, explained that the Akhorwal tribesmen were refusing to accept the demarcation by their forefathers and termed the new forced occupations legal and were not ready to vacate the occupied land.

Earlier, firing had erupted in February after which the matter was referred to the elders who had created a buffer zone to cease hostilities.But fighting resumed again on May 12 when the Akhor­wal tribe violated the buffer zone, Mr Khan told Dawn.

Some tribesmen from both sides, who were making an effort for peace, have blamed the administration’s weakness and inability to resolve the bloody feud.

The army has called elders from both sides to settle the issue, while talks brokered by Kohat police and the Darra Adam Khel assistant commissioner were being held behind closed doors, a tehsildar, Muslim Afridi, told Dawn.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2023

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