Pakistanis pile bodies outside governor's house in protest

Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:31am EST
 

By Jibran Ahmad

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pashtun Tribesmen from northwest Pakistan dumped 15 bloody bodies in front of government offices on Wednesday, protesting against what they said were extra-judicial killings by security forces in the latest challenge to the government's authority.

The protest in the northwestern city of Peshawar follows a three-day sit-in by members of the Shi'ite community alongside the bodies of 96 people killed in a sectarian bomb attack in the southwestern city of Quetta, and coincides with a protest against corruption in the capital that has attracted thousands of people who have set up tents in front of parliament.

The Supreme Court also ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday in connection with a corruption investigation, compounding a sense of crisis for the government.

In Peshawar, the protesters said members of the security forces had arrested the victims on Tuesday after the beheading of six paramilitary forces in the area three days ago.

Their bullet-riddled bodies were later dumped in their village in the in Alamgudar area of the Khyber region, the protesters said.

The Frontier Corps, the paramilitary force chiefly responsible for the area, did not give an official comment. Privately, officers denied responsibility.

In an echo of the Quetta demonstration last week, the protesters laid out the bodies on blankets in front of the governor's house in the provincial capital and insisted they would not bury them until their demands were met.

Those include an impartial inquiry and punishment for those responsible. A committee of the protesters demanded that the government stop a military operation in their area, withdraw a five-year-old curfew and compensate the victims.   Continued...

 
A tribesman mourns his relatives, who were said to have been killed after security forces had arrested them during a protest in front of government offices in northwestern city of Peshawar January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz