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BATTAGRAM, June 15: The NWFP Wildlife Department has busted a gang of poachers and recovered two cubs of black bear that were being smuggled out of the country.

According to sources, the police arrested two persons at a checkpost in Battagram and recovered the cubs. The cubs were handed over to the Wildlife Department, which were later shifted to a wildlife sanctuary in Dhodial, Mansehra.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Niaz Mohammad Khan told Dawn that an international gang was involved in the smuggling of the cubs and their final destination was South Africa.

Mr Khan said a case had been registered against the accused under the wildlife act and investigations were underway. The accused were identified as Saddiq and Mohsin, residents of Peshawar.

They reportedly told investigators that they had captured the cubs in Dubair, Kohistan and were being shifted to Peshawar from where they were to be taken to South Africa.