Fighting between Pakistani tribes leaves 47 dead

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) - A gunfight between two Pakistani tribes over disputed mountain territory close to the Afghan border on Saturday left at least 47 people dead and 25 others injured, officials and local sources said.

A security source told AFP that the Mada Khel and Paipali Kabul Khel tribes of North Waziristan had been engaged in intense frighting since Friday to try to capture a mountain, which both groups claim.

"The fight in Laoaara Mandi village in Data Khel area has so far left 47 people dead and 25 others injured," the official said.

He added that the fight for occupation of the mountain is still ongoing.

Locals in the area confirmed the violence and said that the tribes support separate militant groups in the region.

Another source, who is close to the political administration in the area, gave a lower toll, saying that 36 people were killed and 15 were injured.

North Waziristan is one of Pakistan's seven semi autonomous tribal districts where Pakistani forces have little control and militant groups thrive.

The US has in past branded these areas the most dangerous in the world, saying they are hubs for Taleban and Al-Qaeda-led militants.

Tribes in these areas often fight bloody battles to assert their control over the region.

Pakistan's army started an offensive in June last year to clear the region of Taleban militants and has since claimed significant success in the operation, named Zarb-e-Azb.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.