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10 suspects arrested in North Waziristan

September 21, 2006

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MIRAMSHAH, Sept 20: Security forces have arrested 10 people from Lawara Mandi area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the North Waziristan Agency, officials said. The action was taken after six US helicopter gunships intruded into the Pakistan airspace following clashes between the allied forces and Taliban across the border.

The intrusion by the US helicopters prompted the military and political authorities to proceed to the area along with tribal elders, including Fata parliamentarians.

The authorities, sources said, believed that Taliban guerrilla might sneak into Lawara Mandi after clashes with the US-led allied forces in Pipali area of Afghanistan close to the North Waziristan Agency.

After peace accord between the government and militants early this month it was the first action by the security forces in the restive region.

Under the agreement there would be no infiltration into Afghanistan for guerrilla activities from the tribal area.

The sources said that army and paramilitary forces in collaboration with the tribal elders, including MNA Maulvi Nek Zaman, besieged a cluster of houses in Lawara Mandi on Tuesday night and asked local residents to hand over suspects.

They said that tribal elders held negotiations with the people who voluntarily handed over 10 people, mostly Afghans, who were shifted to Miramshah jail for interrogation.

However, officials declined to disclose names of the arrested people.

Peshawar bureau adds: In a related development five bodies were brought from Afghanistan’s Paktika province to Miramshah, the administrative headquarters of the North Waziristan Agency, on Wednesday.

Official sources said that all the deceased, including a prominent militant commander Maulana Abdul Kalam, belonged to the North Waziristan.

They said that the tribesmen might have been killed in a gunbattle with the allied forces in Afghanistan.