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Latest Killings In Northwestern Pakistan Claim Lives Of Tribal Elder, Youth

Hundreds of people protest in Swat on September 18 against the worsening security situation.
Hundreds of people protest in Swat on September 18 against the worsening security situation.

Two people have been killed in two separate attacks in northwestern Pakistan, locals and officials say.

In the first incident, unidentified armed men gunned down a tribal elder and injured two other people in the Khyber tribal district.

Police officials in Bara, a region located a dozen kilometers east of Peshawar, said tribal elder Munsif Ali Afridi was killed by unidentified armed men.

The attackers managed to escape, but police officials said a search operation was under way.

Separately, a young man was killed in front of his house by unidentified armed men in the town of Mir Ali in the North Waziristan tribal district, which borders Afghanistan.

Local police told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal the incident happened on the night of September 20.

More than 50 local leaders, philanthropists, politicians, youths, religious scholars, and security personnel have been killed in targeted attacks in North Waziristan this year.

The Pakistani Taliban, also known as the Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP), is staging a gradual comeback in the tribal districts following a deadlock with the Pakistani authorities in the peace talks launched last year.

The Afghanistan-based TTP three months ago announced a cease-fire with Pakistan. However, the group has launched attacks on police and civilians over the past few weeks.

Muhammad Ali Saif, adviser to the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, of which the tribal areas are a part, told RFE/RL on September 20 that the peace talks were stalled but not ended.

The TTP militants claimed the killing of a peace committee leader in Swat district last week, after which locals staged several demonstrations demanding the expulsion of militants from their areas.

Police and military units have launched a limited search operation in Swat to target the militants. Security officials say army units and police contingents have been moved into areas where locals say militants are present.

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