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Torture accusations surface in Pakistan’s violent tribal regions

More than 50 dead in 2 attacks this week.

Peshawar Pakistan tribal violenceEnlarge
Pakistani policemen search for evidence after a suicide attack in Peshawar on March 15 killed a senior Pakistani police officer and wounded his bodyguard. Violence continued there this week, with more than 50 killed in two battles between Pakistani and militant forces. (HASHAM AHMED/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan’s security forces denied any involvement after locals found 25 bodies bearing signs of torture in the country’s Khyber region this week, Reuters reported.

What some say were mutilated bodies of militants were found in the Bara area near Peshawar. The dead also had multiple bullet wounds.

“It is possible they have been killed earlier during the military operation and their bodies recovered now,” a Frontier Corps official said. “The FC has been conducting military operations against the terrorists in Bara and other areas of Khyber tribal region.”

One local man said he witnessed the FC arrest the men.

“They were taken into custody by the paramilitary Frontier Corps a few days back from Sepah area after unknown people attacked the FC post and killed 4 soldiers,” a local man told Reuters.

Independent verification of the events is difficult inside the government-controlled region.

Violence continues in the predominantly tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan near the Afghanistan border.

Fighting this year between government, Al Qaeda, Taliban and tribal militants have claimed dozens of lives this year.

More from GlobalPost: Pakistan calls for peace talks with terror groups

Agence France-Presse today quoted a Pakistan official who said 4 soldiers died during the shoot-outs in Bara.

He said they were not tortured.

“No miscreant has been killed in custody and any such report is baseless and devoid of facts,” he said, according to AFP.

Also today, Pakistani jets killed 26 militants in air strikes in tribal districts near the Afghan border.

“Pakistani jet strikes today killed 26 militants and wounded 15 others and destroyed their seven hideouts in different areas of Upper Orakzai and Kurram,” an official said.

Almost 5,000 people have died since 2007 in Pakistan as the government fights Islamic extremists.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120318/torture-accusations-surface-pakistan-s-violent-tribal-regi