At least 95 killed in sectarian clashes in Pakistan

September 1st, 2008 - 1:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 1 (DPA) At least 95 people were killed and about 200 injured in the weekend sectarian clashes in Pakistan’s tribal region along the Afghan border, media reports said Monday.Heavily armed fighters from rival Shia Toori and Sunni Bangash tribes targeted each other’s positions Sunday with missiles, rockets and assault rifles across the tribal district of Kurram Agency.

The clashes erupted Saturday when Bangash tribesmen attacked Tooris in the Inzari area and killed five Toori men, the Dawn newspaper said. Tooris then organised a large force and raided the Bangash stronghold of Bagzai, it said.

Taliban fighters supporting the Bangash tribe carried out two suicide attacks on Toori forces, leaving dozens killed and wounded.

Battles between the factions have been going on for the past three weeks. More than 400 people have perished while thousands more have been displaced and their property ransacked or torched during the bloody clashes, the newspaper said.

The conflict has further been complicated by the intervention of local Taliban from the neighbouring tribal districts. It has weakened the authority of tribal elders, who in the past have played a significant role in ending such fighting.

Land routes to most parts of the Kurram district have been cut off from the rest of the country, triggering a severe shortage of food and medical supplies.

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