Land dispute claims 47 lives in North Waziristan

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BANNU:At least 47 tribesmen have been killed and another 25 injured as gunfights between two rival tribes over a land dispute in Pakistan’s lawless North Waziristan Agency continued for a second day today.

According to media reports the dispute relates to a mountain, which has been a bone of contention between Mada Khel and Pepali Kabul Khel tribes for the past three years. Several jirgas held to settle the issue have failed.

The latest fighting broke out on Friday and the tribesmen were using heavy and light weapons against each other in Datta Khel tehsil.

This time, the situation has become more serious as most of the tribal elders who can broker a ceasefire have already migrated to elsewhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan because of the volatile security situation in North Waziristan.

The area where the fighting is under way is located near the Pak-Afghan border. Some families from the area had recently migrated to Afghanistan due to the long-running dispute between the two tribes.

Sources said the tribesmen were making arrangements to take their injured to Afghanistan, as the local political administration was not allowing them to take the casualties to Peshawar.

Despite repeated attempts, the political administration could not be reached for comments. The exchange of fire was under way when this report was filed.

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