Peshawar, Sept 26 : In an attempt to save innocent civilians from being killed in a military action on the Taliban hideouts, a tribal Lashkar comprising more than 3000 armed volunteers set all the three main Taliban hideouts afire and chased the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants out of their area in Jamrud Tehsil of the Khyber Agency.
"Yes, we successfully purged the area of the militants. Had we not evicted them from the area, the military would have launched an operation which would have taken the lives of hundreds of innocent people, as is the case in other areas," the paper quoted Haji Abdul Manan, the head of the Jirga, as saying.
The 'Mullagori' tribesmen claimed to have taken control of the Taliban hideouts after an exchange of fire, in which they arrested five Taliban, three of them who were wounded.
Besides, they captured three vehicles of the militants, torching one of them and handing over the other two vehicles to the political administration, reported The News.
According to the paper, the decision to burn down militant positions was taken in the second round of Jirga headed by Haji Abdul Manan at Marble Chowk where armed tribesmen from all the sub-tribes of the Mullagori were present. The elders leading their sub-tribes were Malak Imdad, Malak Fazle Mullah, Haji Bacha Gul, Rozi Gul and Haji Aziz.
He said they had torched all the three hideouts in Murad Danda, Zaga mountain and Tora Topai, after a gun-battle for almost one-and-a-half hour. "There were some 80 armed militants who could not face our 3,000 armed volunteers," he said and vowed that in future such elements would not be allowed to carry out activities in Mullagori area.
He added that the Jirga had warned the local tribesmen against sheltering Taliban, and that those violating the Jirga decision would be expelled from the agency and their homes would be demolished. Further, he said the Jirga had also decided to impose Rs one million fine on those found violating the verdict.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the Mullagori tribe gave an ultimatum to the militants to vacate the area in order to avoid military operation and shedding blood of innocent people, but that could not bore positive results.