Pak tribesmen protest against Khyber killings, display bodies
Islamabad: Hundreds of tribesmen on Wednesday protested in Peshawar against the killing of 18 people allegedly by security forces in an operation in the restive Khyber region, displaying bodies of 15 of the victims outside the Governor's House in the northwestern Pakistani city.
The tribesmen from Khyber tribal agency alleged that the 18 people were shot dead by men wearing military uniforms late last night.
The tribesmen drove to Peshawar from Bara in the tribal belt with the bodies of 15 of the 18 victims and began their protest outside the Governor's House.
The protesters demanded that the Governor and authorities give them justice.
On the other hand, security officials told the media that the banned Lashkar-e-Islam led by warlord Mangal Bagh was behind the killings.
They said no operation was conducted in the area where the 18 people were killed.
They pointed out that the dead included a former Frontier Corps personnel's father and four brothers.
Traffic on several key thoroughfares of Peshawar was blocked due to the protest and security forces sealed off the cantonment to prevent protesters from entering the high security zone.
The protesters carried placards and banners calling for an end to military operations in Khyber.
The tribesmen further alleged that mortar and artillery shelling has killed a number of innocent people in their area.
The security officials said they had launched a counter-attack in Khyber after militants attacked check posts killing six personnel and injuring 28 others yesterday.
Four militants were also killed in the clashes.