Second anti-Taliban tribal leader killed in Swat in week

PESHAWAR: A second member of a local state-allied peace committee was shot dead in the space of a week by unidentified gunmen in Charbagh town of Swat late on Wednesday, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The police identified the deceased as Shirin Khan whose bullet-riddled body was discovered in a nearby area.

After the incident, a police team reached the spot and cordoned off the area to arrest the accused who managed to escape.

According to Rifaqat Ullah, a journalist, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militant group has claimed responsibility for the killing. Pakistan Today couldn’t independently verify the claim.

Khan’s killing came less than a week after a blast in the picturesque region killed five people, including an influential anti-Taliban tribal leader, on Tuesday, in the first major bombing in over a decade in a city that was once a battleground between the army and TTP.

The attack comes as fears rise about the return of the TTP to Swat, and peace talks between Pakistan Army and Afghanistan-based militants, that started last year, have failed.

Meanwhile, locals and several civil society groups staged a demonstration in Mingora city to protest the recent wave of militancy in Swat.

Locals told Reuters after Tuesday’s blast that many affluent residents and political leaders had already shifted their families out of Swat in recent weeks after the TTP resurfaced in the area.

Police are yet to make any arrests.

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