At least nine people have died, including two local council members, and six others injured after two groups opened fire and clashed during a jirga meeting in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, officials said on Tuesday. The jirga meeting — a traditional assembly of village elders which settles disputes based on teachings of Pashtunwali — was being held in Veraval Bandagai village of upper Dir district on Monday evening, officials said.
The dispute was over land and the construction of a feeder road.
The groups were led by families of Ameer Bacha and Bakht Alam when harsh words were exchanged leading to a gunfight, officials said.
Seven persons from one group and two jirga members were killed. Six others were injured of whom the condition of two is stated to be critical.
The accused escaped. The deceased and injured were shifted to the district headquarters hospital in Dir Khas.
The incident infuriated the local people. Hundreds carried the bodies of the deceased to the Dir-Peshawar Road and blocked it, demanding the police immediately arrest the accused and seize their guns.
Though one of the most common methods to resolve disputes in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the jirga meetings often end in violence with half a dozen such incidents reported this year alone.
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