3 Pak security men kidnapped by Taliban militants

Last Updated: Monday, October 10, 2011 - 21:17

Islamabad: Suspected Taliban militants
kidnapped three paramilitary troopers in Pakistan`s restive
Kurram tribal region a day after rival tribal factions agreed
to open a key road that had been closed for four years,
security sources said on Monday.

The troopers were travelling in a private vehicle
when the suspected militants stopped them near a check post at
Chapari in Kurram Agency, a source said.

The masked armed men forced the security personnel
out of the vehicle and took them to an undisclosed location.

No group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping
though authorities said Taliban militants were usually behind
such incidents.

A jirga or council of tribal elders was assigned by
authorities to contact the militants for the safe release of
the paramilitary troopers.

However, the jirga has had no success so far, the
sources said. Elders of rival Sunni and Shia tribesmen Kurram
Agency had agreed on joint action against militants in the
area after they decided to reopen a key road that was closed
for four years.

The elders met Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar
in the northwestern city of Peshawar and vowed to expel
militants from Kurram Agency, where the rebels had closed a
route linking the region to the rest of Pakistan.

The closure of the road had forced residents to
travel to Peshawar via Afghanistan, a risky and long journey.

There were several peace agreements in the past but
they failed to produce results.

Sunni and Shia elders have now decided to implement the
previous agreements. They agreed that all closed routes would
be reopened within a week and displaced people would be
repatriated to their homes.

Thousands of people had left the region due to military
operations against militants and clashes between rival Sunni
and Shia tribesmen over the past four years.

The tribal elders further agreed that all routes
would be handed over to security forces. They also imposed a
ban on carrying weapons.

PTI




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