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By Zahir Shah
WANA – Security forces have flattened five militant centres, 12 weapons shops, a militant jail and a militant court in South Waziristan during a crackdown prompted by an insurgent rocket attack from Rustam Bazaar that killed one soldier June 10.
In response, militants have warned Mehsud tribesmen in letters to leave forever or face targeting.
The South Waziristan Agency political administration has declared a curfew, but is allowing the public to move freely until 6pm daily.
Authorities have scheduled a jirga for June 13 to discuss the curfew, Wana Assistant Political Agent Shoaib Khan told Central Asia Online.
Before the curfew is lifted, though, the tribes will have to agree to abide by a 2007 peace accord and evict militants from the area, Political Agent Javed Marwat said.
Troops destroy Taliban jail
Government forces continued bulldozing militant facilities, including the camp from which insurgents fired the rockets that killed one soldier June 10.
They have also flattened a Taliban-run jail, set up in an abandoned two-storey hospital, and a Taliban court called the Aman Daftar, or peace office.
The militants had used the five-room jail to hold those they accused of opposing them or failing to obey Islamic teachings. It used to hold 30 to 40 prisoners, but locals never spoke of it, fearing TTP reprisal.
Troops continued to block all main roads leading from Wana June 12, but will likely open the roads for the June 13 jirga, in response to local outcry. But the administration is committed to full-fledged action against those who challenge the government’s writ, Marwat said.
Meanwhile, the TTP warned Mehsud tribesmen to leave the area.
“As there is a war going on, the tribesmen should vacate the area,” an Urdu-language pamphlet distributed by the TTP said. “All those who are leaving would be spared.”
However the vast majority of tribesmen in the area know little or no Urdu.
It also warned of attacks on people working to improve the area.
“Those serving in health, education department, NGOs, security forces and Khasadars are all our enemies and would be punished,” the pamphlet stated, a copy of which Central Asia Online received June 11.
Miscreants distributed the pamphlet to terrorise local residents, officials said.