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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2959

Pak military sends gunships to support Upper Dir tribesmen against militants

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Peshawar, 10 June, ( The military sent helicopter gunships to a northwest region of Pakistan Tuesday to support armed villagers who have risen up against Taliban to avenge a deadly mosque blast.

According to sources, the local armed tribesmen are positioned on surrounding mountains and keeping a vigil on the movement of Taliban militants.

Whereas army helicopter gunships and artillery supporting the local tribesmen pounded suspected militant hideouts in Upper Dir. Upper Dir borders Swat valley where Pakistani military is battling the militants.

The local tribesmen on Tuesday were surrounding Shatkas and Ghazigai villages, where militants are believed to be hiding.

Earlier the hundreds of tribesmen in Upper Dir district took up arms Saturday, a day after 38 people were killed in a mosque suicide bombing there, and have stormed villages where extremists are holed up killing 14 fighters, the army has said.

Up to 1,200 villagers carrying firearms are reported to have taken on about 200 Taliban in a handful of remote Upper Dir hamlets.

The tribesmen were enraged by the deadly bombing of a mosque by the militants on Friday.

Hundreds of armed people of Hayagai Sharqai, Kilot, Doon and Man Doog attacked six villages of Doog Darra harbouring the Afghan militants affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban, killing several of them besides torching their houses.

According to reports the tribal lashkar killed at least 13 militants including foreigners.

Some 400 villagers from neighboring Upper Dir district formed a militia and attacked five villages in the nearby Dhok Darra area.

The Lashkar (citizens' militia) has occupied three of the villages since Saturday and is trying to push the Taliban out of the other two. Some 20 houses suspected of harbouring Taliban were destroyed, he said.

The people of Hayagai Sharqai held the Taliban responsible for the deadly suicide blast in a mosque and launched the attack against the militants to avenge the mosque blast.

It to be mentioned here that five villages of Panaghar, Maluk Khwar, Bar Doog, Ghazigay and Shatkas have given shelter to the militants whereas tribesmen of two village Miana Doog situated to the southeast of five villages have been strong opponents of the Taliban militants operating under an Afghan commander, Amir Khitab. Hayagai is situated to the west of these five villages of Doog Darra.

The militants have failed in carrying out their militant activities Miana Doog and Hayagai and other surrounding areas therefore, the Taliban are desperate to subjugate the people of these villages by resorting to suicide bombing.

The Friday deadly suicide bombing by Taliban is also part of their efforts to terrify the tribesmen for opposing the militants.

- Asian Tribune -

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