50 killed in Pak militant clashes
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Islamabad, Jan 25: Over 50 militants have been killed in clashes between the Taliban and another banned group in the restless Khyber tribal region of northwest Pakistan, according to media reports today.
Officials and residents of the semi-autonomous Khyber Agency were quoted by TV news channels as saying that clashes between the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and Ansar-ul-Islam erupted in the remote Tirah Valley last night.
Sadat Afridi, a spokesman for the banned Ansar-ul-Islam, told Dawn.Com that his group's fighters had captured three Taliban bases in Maidan.
The fight still on for a fourth Taliban base, he claimed.
Afridi said his group had vowed to flush out Taliban militants from Tirah Valley as they "carry out attacks on mosques and public places, which is against Islam".
He said Ansar-ul-Islam would not allow the Taliban to continue "killing innocent Muslims in the name of religion".
Both groups were using heavy weapons, including mortars, to target each other's positions.
Officials were quoted as saying that 30 Taliban fighters and 23 members of the Ansar-ul-Islam had died so far in the clashes.
Dozens more were injured in the fighting, which continued till this evening.
People began fleeing the region last night after the two groups fired mortar shells at Maidan village, reports said.
The clashes erupted in an area close to the Afghan border where Pakistani security forces have no presence, TV news channels reported.
The reports could not be independently confirmed as journalists are barred from the tribal belt.
Several militant groups are active in Khyber Agency, which has a strategic route linking northwest Pakistan with Afghanistan.
Abdul Rashid Lashkari, a spokesman for the Lashkar-e-Islam that is linked to the Taliban, said his group would remain neutral in the clashes.
"We are not (fighting) despite our affiliation to the Taliban and our grudges with Ansar-ul-Islam," Lashkari was quoted as saying by the media.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM SOUTH ASIA
Srinagar, Jan 25: The Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Friday hailed the recommendations of Justice Verma Commission regarding the review of Armed Forces Special Powers Act More
- Srinagar City
Srinagar,Jan 25: Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Friday celebrated National Voters Day at different polling stations in the summer capital. In a statement a spokesperson of SMC said functions More
Rather Likely To Present State Budget On March 5
Jammu, Jan 25: Jammu and Kashmir government is likely to seek 10 per cent hike in the annual plan allocation for the fiscal 2013-14 besides extension of center’s special package under Prime Minister.  More
- South Asia
REZAUL H LASKAR\PTI
Islamabad, Jan 25: Against the backdrop of a spike in tensions with India, the Pakistani military is conducting a combat exercise involving fighter jets and ground troops with a top General saying the More
- GK Features
The major part of the Prophet’s mission was to bring peace to the world
Ask any Muslim about his or her love for Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and he or she will answer, “Fidayak Ya Rasool Allah. Sincerely yours, we believe what we tell ourselves Allah’s Messenger Prophet Muhammad More