Pro-Govt tribal elder shot dead in Pakistan
Meherdil Shamankhel was attackedwhen he was travelling along a road in South Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan.india Updated: May 30, 2006 11:48 IST
Suspected Islamic militants fired at a car carrying a pro-government tribal elder in northwestern Pakistan, killing him and wounding two other people in the vehicle, an official said on Tuesday.
Meherdil Khan Shamankhel was attacked late on Monday as he travelled along a road in South Waziristan, a tribal region bordering Afghanistan, an area government official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make media comments.
Islamic militants operating in South and the neighboring North Waziristan tribal regions have been accused of killing local tribesmen who are suspected of helping authorities in their hunt for militants.
Five masked men who were driving another car sprayed Shamankhel's car after overtaking it while he was headed to his village of Shaor near Jandola, a small town in South Waziristan, he said.
Shamankhel's driver and another unidentified man in the car were wounded in the shooting and were taken to a hospital in Jandola, about 90 kms northwest of the city of Dera Ismail Khan.
Shamankhel was a supporter of the government's crackdown against militants in South Waziristan and held frequent meetings with officials in the area, the official said.
Military officials have said that Arab, Central Asian and Afghan fighters -- suspected of links with Al-Qaeda -- are present in the region.
Besides the foreigners, local militants linked with the Afghan Taliban militia also operate in the rugged area.
Most fighting in recent months, mainly in North Waziristan, has been blamed on the pro-Taliban fighters.
On Sunday, suspected militants shot dead another tribal elder, Malik Takhti Khan, in a North Waziristan town while he was shopping at a weekly open-air market for vegetables and grocery.
Scores of elders and local tribesmen have fall victim to suspected militant attacks in the two regions in recent years over suspicion that they were government collaborators.
Some 80,000 Pakistani troops are deployed to Pakistani areas bordering Afghanistan to hunt down militants.