PESHAWAR - Elders of Salarzai tribe of Bajaur Agency Thursday condemned the killing of innocent people in exchange of firing with Taliban insurgents at border region and demanded immediate steps to save lives and properties of area people.

“The government should also establish proper shelters for the families displaced from Bajaur Agency as a result of the fighting,” Abdul Rashid, former senator and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Bajaur Agency, general secretary, said while addressing a press conference at Peshawar Press Club. He said violence has escalated after the fighting between security forces and Taliban insurgents near Afghan border along with Salarazai area of Bajuar Agency.

Flanked by JUI activists Maulana Rehman Syed, Maulana Abdullah Jan and a large number of elders, he informed that Taliban attacked the security forces check post on August 24, after which Pakistani border security forces retaliated and exchanged harsh firing. All kinds of weapons and ammunitions, including missiles, rockets, and gunship helicopters, were being used during the fight, in which several innocent tribesmen were being killed and their homes were being destroyed, he added.

The JUI leader maintained that around a dozen innocent tribesmen were killed, and more than 100 people were injured in the crossfire.

Similarly, he said, hundreds of families fled the area in the wake of the escalating tension at border region.

He said that the tribal people in Bajaur Agency were faced with immense difficult situation over the past eight years in wake of persistent military operations in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, adding that the situation was maneuvered due to US drone attacks and cross-border aggressions in tribal region. The use of force is not solution of the issue, rather it needs to use peaceful means for the settlement of the all issues in Fata, he stressed and urged to resolve the conflict by peaceful ways.

In the conflict situation, he observed a large number people had left their hometown to take shelter in safer places. However, he said the government had failed to cater to the needs of conflict-hit people at their makeshift shelter facility in settled areas.

They demanded of the government to make proper arrangements for the displaced families in the wake of present tension from Salarzai area, and urged to immediate seize firing at border areas.