Convoy attack kills seven in north-west Pakistan

June 19th, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, June 19 (DPA) At least seven people were killed and 28 injured when a food supply convoy came under attack in Pakistan’s tribal district of Kurram, which has been in the grip of growing sectarian violence, officials said. Fierce sectarian clashes between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Kurram left more than 200 people dead in April.

The convoy of more the two dozen trucks escorted by paramilitary troops was ambushed in Sunni dominated area of Pir Qayyum, located some 30 km south-east of Kurram’s central town of Parachinar.

“Armed men fired volleys from top of hillocks targeting the truck drivers in order to halt the movement of the vehicles,” Kurram’s deputy administrator Atta-ur-Rehman told DPA over the phone.

Five drivers were fatally wounded in the assault that triggered heavy gunfight between the attackers and the escorting soldiers.

Military’s helicopter gunships also engaged the attackers, forcing them to retreat.

Bodies of two children believed to have been killed in crossfire were also recovered from the scene of action. However, no information was available about casualties suffered by the attacking tribesmen.

Rehman said 10 trucks sped along the track towards Parachinar while 12 stranded vehicles carrying food items were set on fire by the attackers. The trucks were transporting food items to Parachinar that has a concentration of Shia Muslims.

Tension has been running high in the Kurram district since last year and scores of people have been killed in sectarian violence that also forced hundreds of families to flee the area bordering Afghanistan.

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