LANDI KOTAL, Jan 17: Seventeen people who had been killed by gunmen in Bara on Tuesday were buried on Thursday after a jirga negotiated the handing over of their bodies to relatives.

Security forces had taken the bodies into custody on Wednesday night after relatives refused to remove them from in front of the Governor House in Peshawar where their coffins had been placed in protest against the killings.

Relatives and hundreds of protesters from Bara were demanding an investigation into the murders and an immediate halt to military operation in Bara.

An 18-member jirga, which included MNA Hamidullah Jan Afridi and Awami National Party’s provincial senior vice-president Imran Afridi, secured the bodies from security forces who had arranged for their burial at Sheikhan village outside Peshawar.

The 17 coffins were immediately taken to Bara and then buried in Alamgudar and Dogra areas.

After a meeting at Bagh-i-Naran in Peshawar, the jirga called upon the government to constitute a judicial commission to investigate the killings of what they called innocent residents of Bara during three and a half years of the military operation, announce a compensation package for the victims, reopen Bara bazaar, lift curfew from all parts of Bara and end the ongoing military operation.

The jirga, however, advised the government to conduct a targeted operation against banned militant groups and wanted terrorists. It decided to hold periodic meetings with the government and military officials concerned and ensure acceptance of all their demands.

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