Curfew relaxed in Parachinar

April 14, 2007

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PARACHINAR, April 13: The administration relaxed for two hours on Friday a curfew clamped here a week ago after a jirga brokered a ceasefire between sectarian groups in most parts of the Kurram Agency.

Sources said that despite the truce, a clash took place in Jilamai village of Lower Kurram on Thursday night, claiming four lives.

They described it as a clash between outsiders and local villagers.The same village had been attacked by a lashkar on Wednesday in which six people were killed.

An official confirmed the Thursday clash and the killing of four people, but said the incident was not of sectarian nature. He said that a group of robbers had clashed with the villagers.

Two robbers were among the dead, he said, adding that paramilitary forces had been deployed in the area to ensure security.

Officials said the jirga which had negotiated the truce on Thursday continued its meetings with local elders and the political authorities. It constituted two committees to expedite the peace process in the region.

After the curfew relaxation in Parachinar, people thronged markets to buy essential goods. Army and paramilitary forces patrolled the streets.

The town and other parts of the agency were still without electricity. The main road linking the agency with the settled areas remained closed to vehicular traffic.

The administration shifted 15 critically wounded people to Peshawar by a helicopter for treatment.

According to reports received here, sporadic clashes continued in Tari Mingal-Piwar and Kirman-Parachamkani areas on Friday. But no casualty was reported. Other parts of the agency were calm but tense.

Corps Commander Lt-Gen Mohammad Hamid Khan visited the troubled areas on Friday and directed the administration to take measures to restore law and order.

According to a press release issued in Peshawar, Gen Hamid asked the tribal elders to play their role in restoring peace and stability.