Displaced from Tirah

Mar 2013

English | اردو

TTP clashes with Ansar-ul-Islam have left thousands displaced from here in Tirah Valley.

TTP clashes with Ansar-ul-Islam have left thousands displaced from here in Tirah Valley. Photo credit: Rahat Shinwari

Nearly fifty thousand people have been displaced from Tirah Valley in Khyber agency following clashes between the between the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) and the government-allied organization, Ansar-ul-Islam (AI). While Khyber Agency’s political office put the estimate at 50,000, unofficial sources doubled it, saying almost 100,000 locals had been forced to migrate out of Tirah abandoning their homes and possessions.

The fighting left almost a hundred thousand homeless and several dozen dead. The displaced people are demanding that the government register all IDPs and establish camps at peaceful locations in the Tribal Areas.

Zakir Shah Afridi, who belongs to the Maidan area of Tirah region, said that his house was bombarded by rocket fire causing the fields, mountains and even his house to catch fire. Zakir and his family fled the fighting, walking for hours in the midst of battle and heavy rainfall to escape through neighboring Kurram Agency. Now, he is living in Peshawar with his family.

The lack of camps and no process for registration has meant that the IDPs are staying in Orakzai Agency, Kurram Agency and Peshawar with their relatives. The assistant director of Tirah Valley, Khyber Agencythe FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA), Farman Ali says that the registration of affectees will start very soon, and they will be provided with all the necessities including food, clothes, and medicine.

Meanwhile, the TTP has reportedly captured 90 per cent of Tirah Valley, which is home to several tribes including Malik Din Khel, Qambar Khel, Zakha Khel, and Shlobar.

For the past two months there have been several clashes between the TTP and AI. In the latest round, sources say that sixteen TTP insurgents were killed and 20 injured while the AI lost 30 lives with more than a dozen injured. Several houses and posts were also torched.

TTP sources have said that those people who want to remain neutral can return home and they will not be harmed. The TTP also said that it began the latest series of clashes after Ansarul Islam blocked the TTP’s route to Orakzai and Kurram Agency and killed its mujahideen.

Rahat Shinwari is a journalist based in Khyber Agency.

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