Pakistani militant group publicly executes cleric

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Islamabad, May 21 (UNI) A Pakistani militant group, Lashkar-i-Islam, publicly executed an eldery man belonging to a rival group in tribal Bara region, witnesses said.

The execution of Maulana Mastamin, who was kidnapped on December 20, was watched by hundreds of people in Gogrina village of Bazaar-Zakhakhel area near Tirah valley. Initially, the Lashkar denied it had kidnapped him, local media reports said today.

A squad of Lashkar-i-Islam gunned Mastamin down after the 'death sentence' was announced by the Lashkar's Shura or assembly of elders based in Gogrina.

Mastamin was blindfolded with his hands and feet tied with rope.

He was associated with several peace committees formed in Bara on different occasions.

The maulana had been receiving death threats for a long time and Mangal Bagh, a local Islamist had been demanding his surrender.

A spokesman for Lashkar-i-Islam alleged that Maulana Mastamin was an agent of the United States and involved in the killing of scores of people during clashes with Ansaarul Islam, a rival group of the Lashkar, in Tirah.

Maulana Mastamin's father Mohammad Amin criticised the local political administration for having failed to protect his son.

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