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Clashes in Kurram Agency intensify

April 09, 2007


PARACHINAR, April 8: Despite the presence of a large number of regular and paratroops, clashes between rival groups intensified in the Kurram Agency on Sunday.

Sectarian clashes, which began in Parachinar on Friday, left 15 more people dead and scores of others wounded amid reports that the rival groups in certain areas had intensified attacks on each other’s positions. One woman was among the dead.

Official sources claimed that 25 people had died in the past three days and 140 had suffered injuries, with many of them said to be in critical condition in hospitals. Two of the injured died in a hospital in Parachinar and three in Sadda hospital.

The road between Parachinar and Thall remained closed and wounded people could not be taken to Peshawar.

Doctors said that local hospitals lacked adequate medical and surgical facilities.

The sources said 110 wounded people had been taken to hospitals in Parachinar and 30 to the hospital in Sadda.

Four people were killed in Piwar and three in Kirman village. A mortar shell hit a house in Alamsher village, killing one Amin Hussain. Six people were killed in Sadda town. Two were killed while loading a mortar gun.

The main grid station supplying electricity to Sadda came under attack and power supply to the area was suspended.

Parachinar was without water and electricity supply.

Political Agent Sahibzada Mohammad Anis said 15 people had died and 40 others wounded.

Parachinar was tense and the administration did not relax the curfew imposed on Friday. Army and paramilitary forces were patrolling the streets.

Fierce clashes continued in Tari Mingal-Piwar, Malikhel-Boshara, Parachamkani-Kirman and Ibrahimzai-Sadda areas and heavy weapons were used.

A heavy exchange of fire was reported from Boshara, 5km south of Parachinar.

The political agent said the administration was considering using Cobra helicopters to dislodge armed groups from different locations. The administration has persuaded the area MNAs, senators and Maliks to use their influence to broker a truce

AFP adds: “We have started negotiations with tribal elders to end the fighting,” Sahibzada Anis said, adding that troops could be used in some outlying areas if needed.