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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistani militants kill pro-govt tribal elder

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, July 31,IRNA -- Suspected militants Sunday shot dead chief of a pro-government tribal peace committee near the tribal region of South Waziristan, police said.

The gunmen, riding a motorcycle, fired at Malik Arsala Khan, at crowded market in Tank, a main city near South Waziristan tribal area, police officer Shah Nawaz Khan said.

The gunmen fled after the incident.

Officials say that nearly 200 tribal elders have been killed by suspected Taliban militants in South Waziristan over the past five years.

Malik Arsala Khan was appointed chief of a peace committee four months ago when the government had started repatriation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to South Waziristan.

Witnesses said that the tribal elder was going to market from home on foot when the gunmen opened fire on him at 8.30 a.m. local time. Malik Arsala was one of the active tribal elders after the military ended its operation.

Thousands of people had fled homes when security forces launched a major operation against the Taliban militants in South Waziristan in October 2009.

The army had declared victory over the militants in South Waziristan, the birthplace of Pakistani Taliban, early last year. But the recent several attacks on security forces have raised fears about the presence of the militants in some areas.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack. He was staunch supporter of the military action against the Taliban militants.

The army has cleared most of the areas from the militants but they are believed to be hiding in mountains. Taliban have also said they would continue attacks on security forces.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30501257

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