KHAAR, March 27: A senior officer of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), his subordinate and two tribesmen were killed and three others wounded when their vehicle was ambushed in Rashakai area of the Bajaur Agency on Tuesday.

The incident took place a day after local political authorities and tribal elders had signed an agreement binding tribesmen to deny shelter to local and foreign militants in the agency.

Officials said Maj Hamza and Subedar Saeedur Rehman were going from Peshawar to Khaar in a rented car when some people on a motorbike opened fire on the vehicle.

They said Maj Hamza and Subedar Saeed died on the spot, while two tribesmen in the vehicle — Hussain Ahmad and Omar Khan — expired later. The attackers escaped. The driver of the car, Momin, and another passenger suffered bullet injuries.

An official said some elements unhappy with the agreement wanted disturbance in the region.

Agencies add: Military spokesman Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad said security forces were investigating the attack.

Foreign militants were not believed to have been involved and the attack would not sabotage ties between the tribesmen and the authorities, he said.

Bajaur is the most north-easterly of the tribal agencies. It borders the Afghan province of Kunar where US troops have been battling Al Qaeda and Taliban.

In October last year, army helicopters raided a madressah in Bajaur killing about 80 people, the highest number of suspected militants killed in a single assault.

Mowaz Khan, a security official in Khaar, the main town of Bajaur, said two men wearing masks and riding a motorcycle threw two grenades at the vehicle and then opened fire.

Two passers-by in another car were injured in the shooting, an intelligence officer said.

In return for the tribesmen’s pledge not to shelter militants, the government had promised to expedite development projects in the region, said Malik Abdul Aziz, a tribal elder.

AFP quoted a local intelligence official as saying that a major, an assistant director, two other ISI officials and their driver were killed in the attack.

Maj-Gen Arshad said he had reports of three dead. “They were security elements,” he said.

Militants kidnap school principal

TANK: Armed men stormed the home of the principal of a private school, manhandled women and whisked him and his brother away on Tuesday, officials and residents said.

They said that over a dozen armed men forcibly entered the home of Farid Mehsud, principal of the Oxford Public School, in Sheikh Shahnawaz Bhatta area, and took him and his brother away.

Two suspected militants and a police official had been killed on Monday when six armed men had encountered police at the school.

Witnesses said the militants had blocked the Tank-Bannu road and searched vehicles for government employees. The district administration closed educational institutions for five days. NWFP Home Secretary Badshah Gul Wazir told Dawn that five additional platoons of Frontier Constabulary would be sent to Tank. He said massive deployment of Frontier Constabulary had already stretched its resources.

Sources said militants had fired at least eight rockets on a fort of the paramilitary forces in Wazirabad area on Monday night.

The government is sending a 40-member jirga to the Spin Kai Raghzai area of South Waziristan on Wednesday to seek help from militant commander Baitullah Mehsud to calm the situation in the area.—Alamgir Bhittani