LANDI KOTAL, April 9: Four more persons were killed and scores of families migrated to safer places as armed clashes between two rival militant factions continued on Saturday in the remote Tirah valley of Khyber Agency. Sources said that clashes continued between Lanshkar-i-Islam (LI) and its rival group Ansaarul Insar to take control of Dars Jumaat base in Akkakhel area. Both sides lost two members each in the conflict, they added.

On the Zakhakhel front, the newly formed tribal lashkar have taken control of LI base in Manzatal Kandao. Sources said that security forces took control of Dray Ghakhi Sar after it was vacated by Zakhakhel lashkar. Dray Ghakhi Sar was an important base of LI before it was taken over by the tribal lashkar.

Hundreds of families migrated from Zakhakhel, Malikdinkhel and other parts of Tirah owing to a surge in fighting between LI and its opponents.

Jan Said Zakhakhel, who migrated from Bazaar-Zakhakhel, told Dawn that all the entry and exit paths to the area were closed and they had to walk on foot to take shelter with their relatives in Kata Kushta area of Jamrud.

Some of the families have settled in Shakas while other left for Peshawar.

Meanwhile, unidentified persons blew up an important bridge on Bara-Jamrud Road in Shalobar area of the tribal agency.

In retaliation to blowing up of the bridge, security forces on Saturday conducted a search operation in Shalobar area and recovered huge quantity of arms and ammunition, stolen motorcycles, schools furniture and narcotics. The firearms included missiles, rocket launchers, Kalashnikovs, mortar shells, hand grenades, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, repeater and hundreds bomb fuse.

Officials said that at least three suspects were arrested while three tribesmen received injuries when forces fired in the air to scare away the local residents. In Kurram tribal region, militants kidnapped five people on Saturday, sources said.

They said that armed militants kidnapped five persons from Laddha area and shifted them to unknown location. They said that three kidnapped persons belonged to Parachamkani area.

In Mohmand Agency, security forces continued operation against militant in different areas of tehsils Safi and Baizai on the fourth consecutive day on Saturday. According to sources, forces cleared Aliangar area of tehsil Safi and took its control.

Sources said that forces entered Charmarkand and Sheish Baba areas, which were considered strongholds of militants.

They said that forces defused 15 explosive devices and arrested 12 suspects in the area. Security forces, Khassadar, Levies and peace committees jointly established new checkposts in the bordering area Khewazai and Michnai to flush out militants and prevent penetration of anti-state elements into Mohmand Agency.

Sources said that 138 families reached IDP camps in Nahqi in Haleemzai tehsil and more influx was expected in coming days.

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