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May 8, 2013

Soldier, Pesco employees among 13 hostages freed by militants

Top Story

May 8, 2013

BARA: The militants set free 13 persons, including nine labourers, three employees of the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) and a Pakistan Army soldier, in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency on Tuesday, official and local sources said.
The sources said that local authorities had established indirect contact with the kidnappers through local elders sometime back and it finally resulted in the release of the hostages. The three workers and nine laborers were abducted by militants when they were on way to repair a faulty transmission line in Badaber in Peshawar district close to the Gulakhan Bagh in Akakhel area of Bara tehsil on January 31, 2012.
The soldier, Fazal Wahab, was captured by the Mangal Bagh-led Lashkar-i-Islam militants during an attack on security checkposts in Shalober area of Bara in mid-January 2013. Six security personnel were killed in the assault. “We arrested dozens of suspected persons and then put pressure on the militants to free the captives, an official of political administration said on condition of anonymity.
Some reports suggested that 17 militants were freed by the political administration as part of the deal. However, this piece of information was neither confirmed by the government officials nor the militants.
After their release, the freed men were brought to the office of Assistant Political Agent Bara in Khyber House Peshawar where they were received by their family members and relatives. Speaking to reporters, the freed men said they were kept at two locations during their 15-month imprisonment.