10 killed in clash after attack on shrine -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

10 killed in clash after attack on shrine

PESHAWAR/LANDI KOTAL, March 3: In a bizarre development, the armed supporters of a militant organisation based in the Khyber tribal region attacked the Shaikhan village in the outskirts of the provincial capital on Monday, killing 10 people and injuring 15 others.

The destruction of a shrine in the village adjoining the Khyber region had sparked the dispute in which both sides used heavy weapons. The clashes continued for several hours and law-enforcements personnel did not intervene.

Villagers told reporters that over 1,000 supporters of the Lashkar-i-Islam entered the area and started destroying the four centuries old shrine of saint Abu Saeed Baba.

Mangal Bagh, the head of the outfit, has been enforcing his own brand of Islam in his areas for about two years.

The assailants also killed two caretakers of the shrine, Noor-ul-Haq Qadri and Sharif Qadri. An official of the political administration of Khyber region said that nine people had been killed. The assailants set several houses on fire.

Three women and two children were among the wounded and according to unconfirmed reports, Mangal Bagh’s supporters abducted 10 villagers.

Armed men in trucks and cars entered the village from the adjacent tribal area, killed innocent people and went back, said Pir Hayatullah.

Police fired teargas shells near Pishtakhera police station to disperse protesters from Shaikhan who were trying to take the bodies of the people killed to the Governor’s House. Many suffered injuries.

Three bodies were brought to Peshawar Press Club. However, a heavy contingent of police cordoned off the area did not allow the protesters to proceed towards the Governor’s House.

Capital City Police Officer Tanvir-ul-Haq Sipra who accompanied the coffin -carrying procession declined to comment.

Hayatullah, a caretaker of the shrine, complained that police kept quiet as supporters of Mangal Bagh killed innocent people.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/4/2008