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No curfew in Bajaur after four years

October 20, 2012

KHAR/ KALAYA/NOWSHERA, Oct 19: Sector Commander (North) of Pakistan Army Brigadier Haider Ali on Friday announced the lifting of curfew in Bajaur Agency around four years after its imposition, saying the move had been made after the restoration of peace and establishment of the government’s writ across the tribal region.

Brigadier Haider Ali told reporters here at Scouts Fort that security forces had established the government’s writ in Bajaur Agency after flushing out militants from the inaccessible areas, which were once stronghold of militants.

He said curfew was imposed in Bajaur Agency in 2008 after the start of the ‘Sher Dil’ (lion’s heart) military operation against militants.

“Now, as the goals of the operation against militants in Bajaur Agency have been achieved, the army feels no need for further curfew. The decision to lift curfew completely in the agency was taken in the best interests of the people of the tribal region,” he said.Brigadier Haider said after the lifting of the curfew, the people of the agency could move around freely.

“They can carry out business without restriction. Though checkposts on various roads will stay put for some time, checking and search on checkposts will be relaxed,” he said. He said local residents were safe and there was no threat from any militant group inside the agency.

About cross-border attacks, the military commander said security forces had covered all border areas near Afghan border.

“New checkposts have been established and local people have formed quami peace lashkar. Security personnel and volunteers have been deployed there to keep vigil on the movement of miscreants,” he said.

Brigadier Haider said it was the responsibility of the tribal people to protect their houses, villages and towns against militants.

He said the people should identify among their ranks those sheltering militants and take action against them.

In Zaridar Kalli village of Oarkzai Agency, a passenger was killed and eight injured after their coach was destroyed in a roadside blast on Friday.

Officials said the coach was bound for Kalaya, agency headquarters, from Dargai area in lower Orakzai Agency.

They said militants exploded a bomb by remote control when the coach reached Zaridar Kalli village.

Officials said the blast destroyed the coach completely and killed a passenger, Liaquat Ali from Ibrahimzai area, and injured Zaffar Ali, Gulshan Ali, Naib Ali, Noor Taj Ali, Kamaran Ali and Maryam.

They said the injured were taken to a local hospital, which referred three to KDA Hospital in Kohat over critical condition.

After the blast, personnel of security and levies forces reached the spot and began a search for militants.

In Akora Khattak town in Nowshera district, militants blew up a primary school for girls early on Friday.

However, no damage to human life was reported. Officials said Government Primary School for Girls in Shaikhan Kalay area of Mesri Banda was targeted by militants by detonating an explosive device on the premises.

They said the explosive device weighed four to six kilogrammes and was detonated by remote control.

Shortly after the blast, personnel of police, bomb disposal squad and elite force reached the school and gathered evidence.

Police later detained seven people, including the school’s watchman, for interrogation. Also in the day, police seized the beheaded body of a 16-year-old boy on the bank of Kabal River in Nowshera.

Officials said the body of Aqib Javed, a resident of Azakhel area, who had been missing for two days, was dumped on the river bank by unidentified people.

Azakhel police took the body to Mian Rashid Hussain Shaheed Memorial Hospital, Pabbi for autopsy.

Doctors said the boy was beheaded after he was severely tortured.