Malam Jabba motel set on fire

June 27, 2008


MINGORA: With large-scale violence breaking out in the troubled Swat Valley, militants on Thursday shot dead three relatives of a PPP leader and set on fire a four-storey motel of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) in Malam Jabba, the country’s only ski resort.

Locals said the militants attacked the home of Abdul Kabir, brother of Swat People’s Party vice-president Sher Khan, in Koz Shur area of Matta tehsil. A clash took place as security forces opened fire from nearby hilltops to disperse the attackers.

The militants again converged on the area on Thursday morning and besieged the house.

After an exchange of fire, they broke into the compound and shot dead Mr Kabir, his wife and son Mohammad Ali.

The houses of Mr Kabir and his elder brother Mohammad Sher were burnt down.

Suspected militants had also killed another brother of the PPP leader, Mohammad Zameer, on Tuesday.

In another attack, militants burnt down PTDC’s abandoned motel and damaged the chairlift cable and an office of the meteorological department in Malam Jabba.

The motel had been built with Austrian collaboration. Two floors of the motel were destroyed.

The PTDC had abandoned the motel, laying off eight employees.

Militants also blew up a police checkpost and set on fire a girls school in Bari Kot tehsil.

In the fresh wave of violence, the militants have torched 11 schools over the past two days.

District police chief Waqif Khan said the administration had lost its writ over Malam Jabba and it had not been able to asses the damage.