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Riot toll in Kurram Agency rises to 50

April 11, 2007


PARACHINAR, April 10: Despite the presence of security forces, heavy fighting between rival groups in different areas of the Kurram Agency continued for the fifth consecutive day on Tuesday.

There is no respite in clashes and residential areas are being targeted with rockets and light cannons, forcing people to evacuate women and children to safe places. The region was without electricity after the main transmission line was attacked near Alizai in the Lower Kurram Agency.

According to sources, death toll had risen to 50 and hospitals in Parachinar, Sadda and Alizai had received 260 wounded. Doctors said that 173 wounded had been shifted to hospitals in Parachinar and about 65 to the Sadda hospital.

Security officials said the army had fired artillery rounds from its base in Parachinar on Tuesday evening and targeted suspected locations to silence guns.

Sadda, headquarters of Lower Kurram, Balishkhel, Bagan, Alizai and Boshara are the worst affected areas where houses have been attacked with rockets and missiles. The Parachinar city has been under curfew since Friday.

Residents said the political administration had failed to restore its writ and broker a ceasefire. They said although security forces had succeeded in securing peace in Parachinar, they failed to stop lawlessness in other parts of the agency.

A tribal elder from Lower Kurram said that people from both the sides were in favour of an immediate ceasefire but some elements had taken the law in their hands. He said that troops had arrived in Alizai, Bagan and Sadda, but they failed to stop hostilities.

The main road connecting the agency with other parts of the country had been blocked for the last five days due to which a large number of people had been stranded in Peshawar. Education institutions and business centres also remained closed in various areas of the agency.