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North Waziristan Religious Leaders Killed When Vehicle Ambushed

The attacks on the scholars are the latest in a wave of targeted attacks in North Waziristan. Late last month, two police officers were killed in militant attacks in the region (their funeral in Miran Shah on June 28, pictured above).

Two religious scholars have been killed in Pakistan's troubled North Waziristan in the latest in a wave of seemingly targeted attacks.

Religious scholars Qari Samiuddin and Qari Nauman were shot after armed motorcyclists approached their vehicle in the Mir Ali region of the tribal district, bordering Afghanistan, district police chief Farhan Khan told Radio Mashaal.

Samiuddin was an administrator at a religious seminary in the area and a local leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) religious party. He finished second as a JUI-F candidate for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly in 2018 parliamentary elections.

He was regarded as a strong voice against lawlessness and targeted killings in the area.

Nauman was a local councilor who also belonged to JUI-F.

Farhad Haidari, a local JUI-F leader, demanded an investigation and the immediate arrest of the killers.

North Waziristan has witnessed a spate of killings over the past six months despite an indefinite cease-fire between the banned Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan group and the government.

Locals say unidentified armed men target people who raise their voice for peace or who challenge the presence of armed groups in the area.

On July 14, Pakistani security forces said they had killed 10 suspected militants in North Waziristan who belonged to the Hafiz Gul Bahadar group of the Taliban.