KURRAM: Four pers­ons, including a woman, were killed in an armed attack on a passenger van near Sadda bazaar of dist­r­ict Kurram on Sunday, local police have confirmed.

The vehicle was on its way from Parachinar to Pesh­a­war when it came under attack, along with a car, acco­­rding to Kurram police.

The attack also left three people injured, who were moved to the Para­chinar district headquarters hospital, said Dr Qaisar Abbas, the hospital’s deputy medical superintendent.

Kurram District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Imran Mirza told Dawn.com that the deceased included two security personnel.

He added that the vehicles were targeted by gunmen with automated wea­pons, and efforts were under­­way to arrest the culprits.

According to local officials, this is the fourth such attack in the district since December 26, 2023, when two persons were killed and five injured in an attack on a passenger vehicle which was on its way from the Kothi Bala area of district Hangu to Parachinar.

Earlier on January 1, two passengers sustained injuries in an attack on a van near the Pewar check-post area. Another attack followed three days later, on January 4, which left one person dead and another wounded.

With the rising attacks on vehicles, a jirga has been called to maintain peace in the area, Noor Chap Orakzai, a jirga member, told Dawn on Sunday.

He added that the district administration arrested 20 people after the last [land] dispute and that they were “trying to maintain peace in the area”.

“We will start our efforts as soon as the four persons [who died on Sunday] are laid to rest.”. He added that the future course of action would be shared after the jirga meeting.

Sajid Hussain Turi, a former MNA from Kurram constituency, said the situation was worsening with each passing day, and locals were panicking.

Locals have questioned the security along the route between Peshawar and Thall-Parachinar road, which connects Parachinar to other parts of KP.

They have said that travellers faced serious problems due to recurring armed attacks.

“Attacks are taking place despite the presence of the Levies and Khasadar force deployed on the route,” while referring to a local force tasked with maintaining law and order.

Mir Afzal Khan, a local youth activist, at a news conference demanded the government secure the route.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2024

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