Army Colonel gunned down in Peshawar

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TTP owns responsibility; 22 held in Wana in punishment

Tariq Saeed

Peshawar/Wana—A senior officer of the Pakistan Army was gunned down by the unknown terrorists in the outskirts of the Peshawar Friday afternoon. Slain Lieutenant Colonel Tariq Ghafoor was posted at the provincial metropolis.
While the assailants managed to make good their escape following the incident, the defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has owned the responsibility for the gruesome murder of the army officer.
The local police and the military sources said Lieutenant Colonel Tariq Ghafoor had hardly come out of the mosque after offering Friday prayers in Sarband area on Ring road near Hayatabad when the unknown miscreants resorted to firing on him. The officer, who also received a bullet in his head, was rushed to the hospital where the doctors pronounced him dead.
The law enforcers and the security forces rushed to the site of the incident and cordoned off the area and kicked off search operation, however, the culprits remained at large. Colonel Tariq was currently posted in Peshawar and was undergoing post-graduate studies in University of Peshawar.
“Lieutenant Colonel Tariq Ghafoor embraced Shahadat due to firing by the unknown assailants after Jumma prayer near Sarband Ring road Peshawar. The officer was posted at Peshawar and was undergoing post-graduate studies at a Government University”. Says a communiqué issued to media by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Friday afternoon.
While the Army and the Police have started investigations into the matter, Mohammad Khorasani, the central spokesman of defunct Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in a message to media, owned responsibility of murdering the army officer.
Meanwhile, Authorities on Friday arrested 22 tribesmen in South Waziristan region in a “collective responsibility” punishment a day after eight government officials were kidnapped, officials said.
The tribal areas, which include South Waziristan, are governed by colonial-era legislation under which relatives, tribesmen and neighbours of suspects can be arrested and detained for years without trial for a crime committed by another.
Eight officials of the FATA Development Authority, the government organisation for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, were kidnapped in South Waziristan on Thursday.

“We have arrested 22 tribesmen to put pressure for the release of the eight FDA officials as the kidnapping took place in their area and it is their collective responsibility to help authorities in the recovery,” Masood Khan, a political officer, told media on Friday.
No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the kidnappings.
Government-appointed political agents rule through the Pashtun tribes and collect and distribute revenue with little oversight.

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