21 Policemen Shot: Amnesty International Report Warned About Region Shortly Before Mass Killing
Twenty-one policemen were shot this weekend in the northwest tribal region of Pakistan that has long been ravaged by "attack, abduction and intimidation."
Police discovered the bodies after midnight in the Jabai area after officer Naveed Akbar Khan, who escaped, notified officials. Twenty-three policemen vanished early morning on Thursday, during a militant attack that included grenades and automatic weapons.
According to reports, militants lined up the policemen on a cricket field on Saturday and shot them all down. Though no specific group has come forward to take responsibility, it is believed that the gunmen were part of the Pakistani Taliban.
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The horrific news comes on the heels of a scathing report by Amnesty International released on Dec. 12 saying: "Millions are locked in perpetual lawlessness in Pakistan's northwestern Tribal Areas, where human rights abuses committed by the Armed Forces and the Taliban are beyond the reach of justice."
The report, entitled The Hands of Cruelty - Abuses by Armed Forces and Taliban in Pakistan's Tribal Areas, added: "The Taliban and other armed groups continue to pose a deadly threat to Pakistani society - thousands have been killed in indiscriminate attacks or those deliberately targeting civilians over the last decade."
The region has been extremely unstable for the last few days after an explosion on a passenger bus killed six people and wounded 52 others.
"After a decade of violence, strife and conflict, tribal communities are still being subjected to attack, abduction and intimidation, rather than being protected," said Polly Truscott, Amnesty International's Deputy Asia Pacific Director.
"By enabling the Armed Forces to commit abuses unchecked, the Pakistani authorities have given them free rein to carry out torture and enforced disappearance."
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