PESHAWAR, Nov 13: Militants have taken over the district headquarters of Shangla in Malakand Division as authorities declared a night-to-noon curfew in Swat district’s headquarters of Mingora.

A credible source confirmed to Dawn that militants had taken over Alpuri, headquarters of Shangla district and home to federal Minister for Political Affairs Amir Muqam.

The source said that militants took over the offices of the district police officer, district coordination officer, district courts and police lines on Tuesday night.

It is surprising that the authorities did not take any pre-emptive measures to protect Alpuri despite reports that militants had planned to take over Shangla that is adjacent to Swat, most parts of which they already control.

NWFP Home Secretary and military spokesman were not available for comment on the rather disturbing new development in northern NWFP.

A security official said that military authorities had clamped a 9 pm to 12 noon curfew in Mingora City to avert any untoward incident.

The move will affect businesses, schools and government and private offices.

Authorities have also imposed curfew from midnight to 9 am in Malakand Agency, a Provincially Administered Tribal Area (Pata) adjoining Swat as a precautionary measure to safeguard troop movement in the region.