Sectarian clashes in Pakistani tribal region leave at least 95 dead

Other News Materials 1 September 2008 10:53 (UTC +04:00)

At least 95 people were killed and about 200 injured in weekend sectarian clashes in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border, media reports said Monday.

Heavily armed fighters from rival Shiite 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 English-language Dawn newspaper said. Tooris then organized a large force and raided the Bangash stronghold of Bagzai, it said, reported dpa.

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, Dawn 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.