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Thread: 60 killed in South Waziristan clashes

  1. #1
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    60 killed in South Waziristan clashes

    60 killed in South Waziristan clashes

    Nirupama Subramanian

    ISLAMABAD: As many as 60 persons were killed in clashes between tribesmen in South Waziristan and Uzbek militants sheltering in the area on Wednesday.

    The fighting follows a call by Waziri tribal elders for a jihad against the foreign militants. On Tuesday, tribal militants raised a "lashkar" or tribal force for the jihad, dispatching them to Uzbek strongholds overnight.

    More than 2,000 tribals are reported to have joined the force, and they have been tasked to kill, capture alive or chase out the Uzbeks, who are affiliated to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan led by Tahir Yaldashev.

    South Waziristan political agent Hussain Zada, the main Government representative in the tribal agency, told journalists that 60 persons — 50 Uzbek militants and 10 tribesmen — were killed in the fighting.

    Both sides used heavy weapons including mortars and rockets. Most of the fighting took place around Wana, the South Waziristan administrative headquarters, in areas such as Daza Ghondi and Sheen Warsak, where the Uzbeks have occupied old bunkers.

    The local tribal commander, Mullah Nazir, has distributed printed pamphlets warning villagers across South Waziristan not to give shelter to Uzbeks.

    The clashes are a continuation of the fighting that erupted last month between the tribesmen led by Mullah Nazir and the Uzbek militants.

    Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said on Wednesday 250 persons had been killed in the clashes so far, of which more 200 were Uzbeks. But the tribesmen, including those in the Mullah Nazir camp, have said the casualties are far lower.

    An effort to bring about a ceasefire between the warring sides a few days ago did not succeed. Among those who tried to bring about the truce were parliamentarians of the pro-Taliban Jamaat-e-Ulema Islami, Taliban commanders from Afghanistan and Pakistan, local religious leaders and tribal elders.

    The Pakistan Government denies any role in fuelling the hostilities or giving assistance to the local tribesmen.
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