Thursday February 02, 2023

Afghanistan-based militants slaughter two Kalash shepherds in Chitral

By our correspondents
July 30, 2016

Take away 300 sheep to Nuristan

CHITRAL: Afghanistan-based militants slaughtered two shepherds in the Bamburet Valley and herded their 300 sheep to the neighbouring country, official and local sources said on Friday.

Though the identity of the militants wasn’t known, normally the Pakistani Taliban who fled to Afghanistan after the military operation in Swat and the rest of Malakand Division carry out such cross-border attacks.

The sources said that two Kalash shepherds were grazing sheep in Ghari, the summer pasture in Bamburet when they were attacked by a group of 30 militants who crossed over to Pakistan from the Nuristan province of Afghanistan.

The shepherds reportedly opened fire on the militants and the exchange of firing took place for a long time. However, the shepherds ran out of ammunition and were overpowered by the militants.

The militants abducted the shepherds and herded their sheep to Afghanistan. Villagers found the throat-slit bodies of the shepherds near the border area. The sources said the militants were heavily armed. The police and personnel of the Chitral Levies and other law-enforcement agencies rushed to the area after the incident.

The slain shepherds were identified as Noor Ahmed, son of Krisha Moch, and Khushuli, son of Khushukhat. Their bodies were shifted to their native villages Kalash and Karakal, Bamburet, respectively.

Hundreds of shocked and enraged Kalash people were making preparation for final rituals of the slain shepherds.Local people said the incident happened some two kilometres away from the security forces checkpost.

Local sources said the militants had been spotted in the border areas two days back and villagers had talked about their presence in the area. The incident spread fear among the Kalash people who believed that they were being specifically targetted by the militants.

The Kalash people said the militants wanted to eliminate them and claimed this task couldn’t be done without the help of the local people.

Talking to The News, an elder of the Kalash people, Saifullah, lamented that the attack took place despite the presence of a large number of law-enforcement personnel in the area. He said security forces didn’t allow the Kalash people who wanted to rush to the area to help the shepherds and as a result the two shepherds were killed and cattle were lost.

A district council member Imran Kabir Kalash told The News that security forces should provide protection to the people. The Kalash elders said that they would decide their future line of action after the final rituals of the two shepherds.Three years ago, the militants had killed a shepherd in the same area and taken away 200 sheep to Afghanistan.