After threats from the Bara-based outlawed Lashkar-e-Islam, scores of Afghan and Zakakhel tribesmen from Khyber tribal region’s Bara area on Sunday have started shifting to safer places.
Tribal and the official sources confirmed that the Mangal Bagh-led Lashkar-e-Islam had warned Afghan refugees and the Zakakhel Shinwari tribes, a sub-tribe of the Afridis, and known their tribal fierceness, living in the area to announce allegiance to the Lashkar or leave Bara where the banned group is still known to have stronghold.
Most of these people were settled in Akakhel, Sipah, Malikdin Khel and Shalobar areas in Khyber region who were given the deadline of April 27, 4 pm to take either of the options as their decision.
The tribals in Bara area said that the militants of Lashkar-e-Islam had visited them personally and asked them to support the banned organisation while warning that they would have to leave the area in case they decided else wise.
An Afghan refugee Rehman Gul who was leaving from Bara via Bara Qadeem check post, to a safer place told Dawn that the banned outfit has threatened the refugees to vacate the area.
He said that they had been living in Bara for the past 27 years and now were forced to leave.
Qayyum Khan, the in-charge of the Police checkpost at Bara Qadeem, on the border of restive Bara region said that so far between 10 to 15 families had crossed the border with their luggage and they were still many moving out from the area.
A political administration official who wished not to be identified said that the militant group wanted to recruit people forcibly from the areas and that’s why they were forcing the Afghans and the other tribes to give them fighters or money to supplement their strength.