Militants kill 22 pro-government tribesmen in Pakistan

June 25th, 2008 - 1:15 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
Islamabad, June 25 (DPA) Pro-Taliban militants executed 22 tribesmen they had held captive for two days in Pakistan’s volatile north-western tribal regions, officials said Wednesday. The bullet-riddled bodies of the abducted men were found Wednesday morning in the Kariwam area of Jandola, the gateway to the restive South Waziristan tribal district that borders Afghanistan.

“It seems that the bodies were dumped here early this morning,” Asmatullah Khan, a security official in the area said.

The victims were among around 30 members of a local pro-government peace committee seized by fighters loyal to pro-Taliban tribal commander Baitullah Mehsud Monday as they moved to take control of Jandola town.

Twelve people were killed and 10 more were injured in the clashes Monday and Tuesday.

Mehsud, the key Taliban commander in Pakistan’s tribal belt, has been blamed for dozens of suicide attacks over the last 15 months, including the one in December which killed former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

He, however, ordered his followers to halt raids on security forces in March when Pakistan’s new government offered peace talks. But the fragile ceasefire did not succeed in putting an end to violence in the region.

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