The attack is the latest blow to a peace deal signed in February to end a four- conflict which has claimed lives of hundreds of people belonging to both sects. – File Photo by AP

PARACHINAR: Masked terrorists ambushed four mini-buses near Bagun town in Kurram agency on Friday. They set on fire one minibus and kidnapped 45 passengers and seized the three other vehicles. According to agency reports, at least eight people were killed in the attack.

The vehicles were coming to Parachinar from Peshawar and, according to sources, most of the passengers belonged to the Shia community.

The sources said that the gunmen later freed five women and seven children.

In a similar attack in mid-March terrorists killed nine people on the Parachinar road.

A tribal elder in Alizai town said that three bodies had been retrieved and the two injured had been taken to hospitals.

“We have reports that eight people have been killed and 45 others have been kidnapped,” he said.

The attack is the latest blow to a peace deal signed in February to end a four- conflict which has claimed lives of hundreds of people belonging to both sects.

The agreement was enforced after all the players concerned pledged to honour it in letter and spirit.

People of Kurram travelling between Parachinar and Peshawar have been frequently attacked in Hangu district.

A few days ago, a minibus coming from Parachinar was attacked and 11 passengers were killed. A few days later, eight people were injured in a similar attack.

The Thall-Parachinar road was closed to traffic as tension gripped the volatile area after Friday’s ambush.

Local people said the political administration and law-enforcement agencies are saying nothing about the number of casualties.

“Officials are hiding information about fatalities,” said a tribal elder in Alizai which is adjacent to Bagun.

According to Mehbood Ali, one of the injured passengers, the vehicles were attacked with automatic weapons by masked terrorists. He said anyone trying to flee was shot, adding that the 45 passengers who were kidnapped appeared to have been taken to central Kurram.

There is widespread unease in the region over the increasing number of attacks on passenger vehicles despite the peace agreement.

Meanwhile, terrorists fired mortar shells at a school in Piwar village near the Afghan border on Friday, but there was no casualty.

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