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Militants beat up dancers

April 13, 2007

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LAKKI MARWAT, April 12: Clashes between militants and villagers in the Dhoda-Shah Hasankhel area on Thursday morning left two people injured. About a dozen people were taken hostage by the militants.

Sources said a group of Taliban militants had beaten up some transvestite dancers, shaved their heads and broken their musical instruments near Abdulkhel as they were going to the Dhoda village to perform at a wedding on Wednesday night.

Villagers decided to take revenge by raising a Lashkar against the Taliban, the sources said.

Light and heavy weapons were used and the Taliban also fired rockets during the clash which lasted for several hours.

The Taliban took 12 villagers hostage. Five of them were later freed while the others were in the custody of the Taliban till late evening, according to the administrator of a seminary, Hafiz Amanullah Khan.

A heavy contingent of police and Frontier Constabulary personnel reached the area.

A ceasefire was brokered by some local ulema who held talks with village elders and the Taliban.

The sources said the situation was tense and additional contingents of the FC had been summoned.