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KHAR, Oct 10: Militants beheaded four kidnapped pro-government tribal elders in Charmang area of Bajaur on Friday.

Assistant Political Agent Mohammad Jamil told Dawn that Malik Dastan, Malik Jamaldar Khan, Malik Aman Gul and Malik Sana Gul were kidnapped when they were going to attend a jirga in the area.

He said their bodies were found along the road in Tangi area early in the morning.

Witnesses said that militants had slit throats of the elders.

They were buried here amid tension and grief in the area where anti-Taliban sentiments were growing.

Malik Hazrat Gul, an elder of Charmang, said the militants could not demoralise tribesmen through such barbaric acts. He declared that tribal lashkar would continue operation against them.

“They (militants) cannot terrify and discourage tribesmen through such cowardly acts,” he said, adding that people would eliminate militants from the area.

Sources said that militants and tribesmen clashed in Charmang on Friday after the beheading of the elders.

A jirga was also held in which it was decided to form lashkar against militants in Charmang on Saturday.

The sources said that jet fighters and helicopters pounded militants’ positions in different areas on Thursday night and Friday, killing at least seven people.

Several hideouts were hit in Mamond tehsil.

Separately, Mamond and Mandal tribesmen also destroyed houses and hideouts of the militants.

The house of militant commander Gul Zareen was torched.

Meanwhile, authorities announced that education institutions would reopen in four out of seven subdivisions of Khar on Saturday after security forces re-established writ of the government in the area.

An official said that schools and colleges in Khar, Salarzai, Barang and Utmankhel subdivisions would be opened because the areas had been secured.

He said that normalcy had returned to the area.