Pakistanis pile bodies outside governor's house in protest

PESHAWAR, Pakistan Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:09pm IST

Tribesmen sit next to the bodies of their relatives, who were said to have been killed after security forces arrested them during a protest in front of government offices in northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar January 16, 2013 REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz

Tribesmen sit next to the bodies of their relatives, who were said to have been killed after security forces arrested them during a protest in front of government offices in northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar January 16, 2013

Credit: Reuters/Fayaz Aziz

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pashtun Tribesmen from northwest Pakistan dumped 15 bloody bodies in front of government offices on Wednesday, protesting against what they said were extra-judicial killings by security forces in the latest challenge to the government's authority.

The protest in the northwestern city of Peshawar follows a three-day sit-in by members of the Shi'ite community alongside the bodies of 96 people killed in a sectarian bomb attack in the southwestern city of Quetta, and coincides with a protest against corruption in the capital that has attracted thousands of people who have set up tents in front of parliament.

The Supreme Court also ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday in connection with a corruption investigation, compounding a sense of crisis for the government.

In Peshawar, the protesters said members of the security forces had arrested the victims on Tuesday after the beheading of six paramilitary forces in the area three days ago.

Their bullet-riddled bodies were later dumped in their village in the in Alamgudar area of the Khyber region, the protesters said.

The Frontier Corps, the paramilitary force chiefly responsible for the area, did not give an official comment. Privately, officers denied responsibility.

In an echo of the Quetta demonstration last week, the protesters laid out the bodies on blankets in front of the governor's house in the provincial capital and insisted they would not bury them until their demands were met.

Those include an impartial inquiry and punishment for those responsible. A committee of the protesters demanded that the government stop a military operation in their area, withdraw a five-year-old curfew and compensate the victims.

"Where we should go to seek justice?" asked protester Gulajab Afridi.

"There is dark night in Khyber Agency. There is no one to check the barbarism of the Frontier Corps against local people. Our blood is worth nothing."

He said villagers were trapped between the military and the militants.

"The militants of Lashkar-e-Islam wanted us to stay in our homes and don't want us to vacate our villages but when we stay there, the security forces arrest us on charges of supporting the militants," said 45-year old Haji Gul Jabbar Afridi.

Human rights groups have for years accused the security forces of abductions and killings. The security forces deny that.

The rights group Amnesty International said in a recent report that civilians in the ethnic Pashtun areas along the Afghan border, where Taliban and al Qaeda militants operate, are frequently abducted, tortured and executed by either the military or the militants.

The military strongly refuted the report.

While the Frontier Corps declined to comment a force official speculated that the killings might have been done by militants in disguise.

"They were the militants who wear Frontier Corps uniform and kidnap people and later kill them just to create hatred among the people against Pakistani security forces," he said.

(Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Robert Birsel)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Rice Bucket Challenge

Rice Bucket Challenge

In India, rice replaces ice in bucket challenge  Full Article 

Power Crisis

Power Crisis

Indian power station coal stocks lowest since 2012 blackouts.  Full Article 

Bollywood Watch

Bollywood Watch

Movie Review: Raja Natwarlal.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Reliance plans $13 billion ln projects including new refinery.  Full Article 

Indian Super league

Indian Super league

Del Piero signs for Delhi.  Full Article 

Power Play

Power Play

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif distances himself from army as crisis drags on.  Full Article 

Health Crisis

Health Crisis

Ebola outbreak reaches Senegal, riots break out in Guinea.  Full Article 

Ukraine Fighting

Ukraine Fighting

Ukraine seeks to join NATO; defiant Putin compares Kiev to Nazis.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage