Seventeen militants were killed in conflict which took place in the Mamound tehsil of Bajaur Agency, according to Assistant Political Agent (APA) Jehangir Azam.
Four people belonging to the Mamound peace militia were also killed when dozens of militants attacked the village of Kitkot located on the Pak-Afghan border Thursday morning, said an official. It is reported that one security official was also killed in the clash. While most families in the village managed to flee, members of the peace militia of Mamound stayed back and aided security officials to combat the militants.
Eyewitnesses said the militants fired rockets and grenades at the locals.
Gunship helicopters were called in to carry out shelling in the area. But due to the presence of residents, security officials had to adopt precautionary measures to minimise collateral damage. The situation in most parts of the village remains unclear. Locals reported there was still intermittent firing heard from the area.
Meanwhile, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants based in Afghanistan agreed to return 19 bodies of security officials and a local on Thursday after stern efforts of local tribal elders, sources said.
On June 28, militants ambushed security personnel while they were patrolling the area. They killed all the security officers According to officials of the Upper Dir administration, a Jirga was organised which asked the militants to return the bodies of the slain men. The militants, however, refused to comply.
On Wednesday, a delegation of local elders went to the Kunar province and met with militant leaders to convince them to return the bodies. “Our elders have been successful in their efforts. The militants agreed to return all 19 bodies,” Malak Zafar, a local elder of Barawal, told The Express Tribune.
It was reported that the jirga has handed over 19 bodies to the security officials in Binshahi area between Lower Dir and Afghanistan border.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.