PESHAWAR/WANA: At least two activists of the Pashtun Tahufuz Movement (PTM) were killed and 25 others sustained injuries when they fired at by local Taliban militants in Wana area in South Waziristan on Sunday.
Some of the injured were stated to be in a critical condition and were shifted to Dera Ismail Khan for treatment.
A number of tribesmen staged protest outside the District Headquarters Hospital in Dera Ismail Khan against the firing incident in Wana. They also alleged that the tribesmen bringing the injured to Dera Ismail Khan were stopped at the Tanai checkpoint in South Waziristan.
Earlier, conflicting reports about the developments gripped the Wana, the administrative headquarters of South Waziristan, and its adjoining villages inhabited by the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe.
The eyewitness said the local militants, commonly known as the “good Taliban” were passing through Karikot in Wana where PTM activists were sitting at the petrol station of Ali Wazir, the regional leader of the PTM.
“The militants opened fire at the petrol pump. They hit walls of the building but didn’t cause any injuries to the PTM activists. In the meantime, the PTM workers started shouting at the Taliban militants who allegedly resorted to firing on them,” said a local tribesman on condition of anonymity.
As per account of the local people, the Taliban members before the firing incident had called PTM workers, snatched their familiar red and black patterned caps and allegedly set these on fire.
The Taliban militants reportedly also called Ali Wazir’s cousin in Wana, Arif Wazir and asked him to quit PTM.
On Sunday, Ali ?Wazir was in Dera Ismail Khan and he dashed to Wana when he came to know about the incident.
“After arriving in Wana, Ali Wazir reached his ?petrol pump and was sitting there with his supporters when the good Taliban came and opened firing. Ali Wazir remained unhurt but 11 of his supporters were injured,” said a tribesman.
A local journalist Noor Ali was among the injured. The injured were shifted to a local hospital in Wana. Three of the injured were stated to be in a critical condition.
According to sources, local Taliban commanders Malang, Taj and Ayubi were also seen among the militants.
A large number of tribesmen from nearby villages arrived at the spot and demanded action against the local Taliban militants.
“Around 300 unarmed PTM activists were present there. In Waziristan, only the law-enforcement agencies personnel including Army, FC and Levies and Taliban can carry arms,” said the tribesman who requested anonymity.
According to sources, the paramilitary Frontier Corps arrived at Wana bazaar and allegedly fired warning shots to disperse the tribesmen.
“The PTM workers demanded and wanted to burn the office of the Taliban in Wana, but the FC soldiers opened fire and dispersed all those present,” said a tribesman.
Sources said the FC men were seen taking control of Wana bazaar to prevent any untoward incident.