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Taliban militants kill 22 in Pakistani tribal area

Latest update : 2008-06-25

Pakistani Taliban militants murdered 22 rivals captured this week when they seized a Pakistani northwestern town bordering Afghanistan, a government official and residents have said.

Pro-Taliban militants have killed 22 pro-government tribal elders who were kidnapped a day earlier in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, an official said Wednesday.
The incident happened near the town of Jandola, adjoining the South Waziristan tribal district, where rebels loyal to top Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud have been fighting tribesmen loyal to the government.
"According to our information 22 bodies of peace committee members have been found in Kiriwam village," district administration official Barkatullah Marwat told AFP.
A peace committee is a body of tribal elders and tribesmen who are helping the government in Islamabad to bring peace to tackle Islamic militancy in the lawless area.
"Some of the dead were shot and some had their throats slit," Marwat said.
During the clashes earlier this week the militants had kidnapped some 27 people belonging to the peace committee and local tribal elders, he said.
Clashes broke out in Jandola between followers of a pro-government tribal elder, named Commander Turkistani, and militants belonging to Mehsud's tribe after rockets were fired at the home of a peace committee member on Monday.
The military however put the overall death toll from this week's violence at nine and said that the militants had withdrawn from Jandola after troops moved late Tuesday.
"There is absolutely nothing now in Jandola. A total of nine people have been killed in fighting between tribes," chief military spokesman major general Athar Abbas told AFP.

Date created : 2008-06-25