Militant violence in Bajaur kills five people

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At least five people, including two security forces personnel, were killed and seven others were injured in three separate violent acts at Bajaur Agency in less than 12 hours.

The incidents caused widespread unrest amongst tribesmen from all over Bajaur Agency.

As per reports, a vehicle of a leading government tribal elder was targeted with an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Badaan area. The resulting IED explosion killed three of those in the vehicle on the spot and seriously injured two others.

The targeted vehicle was owned by leading tribal elder Malik Rahmat Ullah Khan, who plays a key role in constitutional matters and the organisation of peace lashkars against militants. The other victims included some of his close relatives. The militants also attacked Khan’s petrol pump in Omari village with a bomb blast. The bomb was planted at the main gate and went off with a big bang, causing injuries to a security guard.

Only a few hours before these two explosions, militants had attacked a security forces vehicle at Tehsil Mamoond using modern and sophisticated weapons. An official said that as a result of indiscriminate firing, two personnel of Dir Scouts were killed and four others were injured. Dir Scouts is a wing of the Frontier Corps and has been stationed at Bajaur for a long time.

Soon after the militant attacks, a curfew was imposed in the area and security forces initiated a search operation. There are no details yet, however, of any arrests or further action taken by the operation.

Bajaur Agency is an area in the tribal belt adjacent to Afghanistan’s northeast border provinces. Pakistani official believe that the concerned militants escaped to Swat and other Malakand districts from where they are being sheltered in Kunar, a border province of Afghanistan. These militants attack security forces, government loyal tribal elders and other government installations from time to time.