Kidnapped tribesmen released after jirga intervention

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Following the intervention of a local jirga, militants on Tuesday released nine tribesmen kidnapped from the outskirts of Peshawar last week, officials said.

The nine tribesmen had been abducted from an area near the Frontier Road and Faqir Kili located on the outskirts of the provincial capital, close to Khyber tribal region.

Nasir Khan, the assistant political agent in Bara tehsil, confirmed the tribesmen’s release. “They have been handed over to the jirga,” he said.

Official sources said the jirga met the militants in Akakhel area and after successful negotiations, the militants the nine tribesmen were handed over to jirga.

The kidnapped men belonged to the Shinwari tribe of Landi Kotal tehsil in Khyber Agency who had shifted to Peshawar about six decades back, police had said.

Officials did not specify a motive for the kidnapping. However, a source revealed that the militants had sought a volunteer from each family or payment of Rs 3,000 per month, and on refusal, kidnapped the men.

The Khyber Agency-based militant group Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) dominates the area where the group’s flags are hoisted on an office in Akakhel. Sources said that the militants belonged to the Afridi tribe and were trying to extend their control.