Pakistan

Afghan Taliban allegedly shot dead two Kalash herders

kalash

CHITRAL: Two cattle herders belonging to the ethnic Kalash community were shot dead and their cattle were taken away allegedly by Afghan Taliban in the Bakh grazing pasture.

The incident took place near the Bahk pasture in Bamborait where Wali Khan, 50, and Noor Ahmad, 47, were grazing their goats near Nooristan close to Afghanistan border.

According to SHO Abdul Fateh police station Bamborait, some unknown persons attacked them last night and killed them by firing indiscriminately. Both belonged to the minority Kalash community and were grazing their goats at night when the incident happened.

The dead bodies were handed over to their relatives but the culprits took around 500 of their goats. Wazir Zada Kalash, Manager of AVDP, told this scribe on telephone that the Kalash people were killed by Afghan Taliban who were responsible for such incidents in the past as well.

He said that a few years back Taliban had took goats of these people as well and had killed some people in forest. The Kalash community complained that the Taliban had kidnapped Greek volunteer Athanasis who was recovered by local administration after mediation with Taliban.

No officers or the local authorities offered condolence or expressed their sympathy nor have they visited the bereaved family. The Bamboriat police said that the area is situated at a distance of seven hours travel time and their dead bodies will reach late night.

The Kalash elders said that although they are observing the 3-day mourning period for their deceased, but presently they will not observe any ceremony and will bury the deceased earliest tomorrow  as their bodies might decompose due to the wounds inflicted on them.

When contacted, the principal staff officer Zahir Shah of Deputy Commissioner Chitral said that the DCO was unavailable and was currently busy at the Shandur polo festival.

DPO Asif Iqbal was also contacted but acting DPO Tariq Karim said that he was also gone to Shandur. Hence, he had no information about the killing of the two Kalash people and whether they were killed by the Taliban.

It is worthy to mention here that the area where the incident occurred is near the Nooristan area of Afghanistan, which is hub of Taliban militants. Chitral police have said that it might be possible that these two people were killed by Afghan Taliban but security forces have denied the attack.

Spokesman of Chitral Scouts Major Kashif said that actually such incidents often held near border areas. He said that some outsiders attacked on the pasture of Kalash community and tried to take the goats but killed them on resistance.

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