Militants strike again near Parachinar

Tue, 24 Feb 2009 09:58:01 GMT
Unidentified armed men have reportedly opened fire at a passenger bus in Pakistan’s lawless Kurram Agency, kidnapping 14 Shia Muslims.

The attackers had targeted the vehicle in the Tut Kas area in the agency on Monday, a Press TV correspondent in Pakistan reported.

Unknown gunmen opened fire on the bus’ tires, forcing it to stop. They then took the male passengers to an undisclosed location, local officials and residents said.

The three women on board the bus en route from the northwestern city of Peshawar to Parachinar have been left behind.

Sunday saw at least four other Shia Muslims injured in the same area when another passenger bus was targeted with a remote control bomb.

Local residents told a Press TV correspondent that the Thall-Parachinar road, which acts as a lifeline connecting the remote area to the rest of Pakistan, has witnessed the Shia community beome the target of violence on a daily basis.

Militants are kidnapping people traveling on the road only to release them after receiving heavy amounts of ransom, Hussain Afzal, a local resident said.

Most of the violence in the territory bordering the Tora Bora region in Afghanistan has been attributed to the Taliban.

Taliban militants have launched deadly attacks against the Shias settled in Parachinar and have been blocking road routes to the city since April 2007 when sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis broke out after provocative remarks by a Wahhabi against historical Shia figures.

The Taliban sided with the Sunni majority in the country, imposing an ongoing 20-month blockade which has caused serious food shortages.

The Pakistani government has on various occasions dispatched relief convoys loaded with food and medicines to the area, but most supplies are confiscated by the militants and the drivers are killed or kidnapped.

Source:  http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=86618&sectionid=351020401

 

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