Two IDPs were killed and at least eight other were injured when security forces opened fired on the protesting IDPs in Bakakhel Camp in Frontier Region, Bannu on Sunday.

Officials said clashes broke out after the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan protested against lack of drinking water and other facilities at the camp and restriction imposed by the management on their movement outside the camp.

The protest started when they were not allowed to go outside the camp and troops opened fire to disperse the protesters.

According to a senior security official who declined to be named, a clash broke out when a boy was asked to register as he left a camp in Bannu, a major centre for people forced from their homes by the fighting.

“When his father came, during the process of registration, there was exchange of harsh words and a brawl between security officials and the man,” the official said.

“After this brawl, he went inside the camp and brought many people with him who started protesting outside the camp and also hurling stones on the soldiers.”

Ghairatullah, a 39-year-old cattle herder displaced by the military operation who lives in the camp, blamed the army for allowing the situation to escalate.

“A soldier began beating one of the guys. It created anger among the locals. And they tried to restrain him. Then the rest of the soldiers joined in with the beating and it spread panic,” he said.

“We were helpless, we had nothing. We picked up stones and threw them at the soldiers to stop them beating our friends but they began firing and started killing us,” he added.

Over one million people were displaced from North Waziristan when military launched operation Zarb-i-Azb in June last.

The conflict zone has been off-limits to media, making it hard to verify the identity of those killed independently.

The military’s public relations wing, ISPR, claimed recently that 90 per cent area of North Waziristan tribal region had been cleared of militants.



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