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Several Pashtun activists killed in Pakistan

DERA ISMAIL KHAN/PESHAWAR, Islamabad, June 4, (Agencies): Several Pashtun ethnic rights activists were killed and at least 25 were wounded in a Pakistan tribal region on Sunday, when Taleban militants attacked their gathering and security forces opened fire on protesters during disturbances that followed.

The violence took place in Wana, the main administrative centre for South Waziristan, one of the most volatile of the tribal lands on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Local tribesmen and one security official, speaking on condition on anonymity, said two people were killed and 25 wounded.

But Manzoor Pashteen, the head of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), said in a posting on social media that at least 10 people died and 30 were wounded during Sunday’s violence. In his Twitter post, Pashteen described how Taleban fighters had first attacked the PTM gathering. Later angry protesters threw stones, prompting “indiscriminate” firing by security forces, he said. The PTM became prominent after the killing of a Pashtun youth by police in the southern city of Karachi in January.

Since then it has held rallies across many towns and cities. Ali Wazir, a PTM leader who was wounded in the attack, told Reuters that the militants wanted PTM to leave the area and were “dictating an end to PTM activities in Wana”.

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