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Kurram Conflict: Urgent Ceasefire Call

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The province of Kurram, located in Pakistan, has been gripped by a critical and protracted conflict, as clashes between two religious groups persist into their fifth consecutive day. This turmoil, ignited by a controversial video that circulated widely on social media, has resulted in approximately 100 mortar shells being launched at one another by the rival factions. Despite the authorities’ attempts to mediate a ceasefire through traditional tribal councils, known as “jirgas,” the situation remains intractable, and the clashes show no sign of abating.

The death toll continues to rise, bringing more grief and sorrow to the region. As the violence rages on, the district’s Parachinar town has been brought to a standstill, with everyday life disrupted and residents living in fear. This disturbing conflict has prompted the authorities to take drastic measures, including the suspension of cellular and internet services in the district. Furthermore, educational institutions have been closed, and all vehicular traffic to the district has been halted.

The two religious groups at the center of this confrontation are based in Parachinar’s Khar Kalay village and the Baleech Khel region. These factions continue to exchange gunfire, which has escalated to the use of heavy weapons. Although the police assert that a ceasefire has been reached among the members of these groups residing in Parachinar’s Boshehra and Dandar villages, the conflict remains relentless. Reports from the area dispute the official figures, suggesting a higher toll of lives lost and injuries sustained.

Only a day earlier, seven individuals were killed in the ongoing conflict—five of them in Parachinar’s Boshehra village, and two others in Khar Kalay and Baleech Khel. This grim situation follows an earlier incident in which four people were killed and six others injured when gunfire targeted two passenger buses traveling from Peshawar to Parachinar.

Despite these adversities, there is still hope for a peaceful resolution. The call for an immediate ceasefire echoes throughout the region, and it is a matter of utmost urgency. A ceasefire would not only bring relief to the residents of Kurram but would also represent a significant step towards ending this senseless violence.

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