Jaag Utha Pakistan, cry villagers
The News, June 07, 2009
People get even with Taliban in Dir
By Delawar Jan
PESHAWAR: Hundreds of armed people of Hayagay Sharqi, Kilot, Doon and Man Doog attacked six villages of Doog Darra harbouring the Afghan militants affiliated with the Taliban, killing several of them besides torching their houses.
According to sketchy reports from Doog Darra, six persons, including a commander of the militants identified as Chamtu, were killed and as many houses were torched. Some sources put the number of casualties at two. Locals said that heavy and light weapons were being used during the attack.
“We saw two houses, owned by Taliban supporters, that were set on fire by the advancing armed people. They captured most of the bunkers from the militants while heavy firing is still continuing,” a resident of Doog Darra, wishing anonymity, told The News by phone late Saturday.
The people of Hayagay Sharqi held the Taliban responsible for the deadly suicide blast in a mosque that killed 49 worshippers on Friday and launched the action to kill or evict them.
The resident who talked to The News said that the exact number of casualties could not be ascertained due to the darkness but said the Taliban might have been killed in large numbers as the Lashkar had eliminated the militants manning the bunkers.
Earlier, an elder of the area, wishing anonymity, said they would not allow the foreign militants to remain entrenched in the area and rule the people through terror.
“We had no hostility with the Taliban except that we are not ready to allow them to unleash terror here. We cannot tolerate the foreign militants in the area and we will keep opposing them,” he told The News by phone.
“They killed our children and we are not going to spare them. We will certainly take action against the Taliban to avenge the death of our sons.”
However, he refused to go into the details as to when they could launch action.
It merits a mention here that the people of Miana Doog — situated to the southeast of five villages of Panaghar, Maluk Khwar, Bar Doog, Ghazigay and Shatkas that have given shelter to the militants — have also been strong opponents of the Taliban militants operating under an Afghan commander, Amir Khitab. Hayagay is situated to the west of these five villages of Doog Darra. Besieged by these two villages, the militants have been unsuccessful in carrying out their militant activities in other areas. Therefore, the Taliban are desperate to subjugate the people of both the villages by using their dreadful tactic of suicide bombing.
The people of Miana Doog had taken up arms against the militants in January to secure the release of a former Afghan official the Taliban had kept in Doog Darra. However, their efforts to force the militants to leave the area failed despite winning pledges several times from the militants.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Friday’s suicide attack reached 49.
A suicide bomber ripped through a mosque, which was full of worshippers preparing for Friday prayers, killing at least 40.
Some people, including children, were reported missing, which has led many to believe that they might have also been blown up. However, there were conflicting accounts about the final death toll. “We laid to rest 49 blast victims on Friday night,” a man, who was in the area during the burial, said. He said three children were still missing.
A villager, Omar Rahman, told The News that the death toll could be more than 40. However, he said that they buried 33 persons while eight others were missing. He said that the people were grief-stricken, but in high spirits. He did not rule out the threat of more suicide attacks in gatherings for condolences, but said they were not afraid of such tactics. He said that the people were vigilant and would take care of the security of the area to the best of their ability.
Rahman said the atmosphere was gloomy as several families in the village had seen more than one casualty in a single day.
A family lost its head, Fazlur Rahman, in the incident. Among the dead were also his three sons, including 7-year-old Abdullah and young Ismail. The name of the third one could not be ascertained. Their family members were shaken, wailing over the irreparable loss inflicted on them for no fault of theirs.
Ahmad Jan and Bakht Badshah also died along with their two sons each in the blast. The area has already seen a lot of bloodshed due to blood feuds.
The injured were flown from Timergara to Peshawar on Saturday for provision of better treatment.
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