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Gunmen kill 6 barbers in former TTP stronghold in Pakistan

AT News

KABUL – Unidentified assailants carried out a brutal attack in Mir Ali, a town situated in the northwest of Pakistan near the Afghan border, once a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban. According to local law enforcement, six barbers fell victim to the gunmen’s onslaught before dawn on Tuesday.

The incident, which occurred in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, left the community in shock. Jamal Khan, the local police chief, reported that the slain individuals were employed at various barbershops in the area. Javed Ali, a resident, expressed his astonishment, recalling a recent encounter with one of the victims during a routine visit to a local barbershop.

Mir Ali, previously a base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), witnessed a significant military operation to eradicate insurgent presence. The TTP, distinct from the Afghan Taliban but closely aligned, had utilized the area until the military cleared it. The Afghan Taliban, seizing power in Afghanistan in August 2021, continues to share ideological ties with the TTP.

Notably, years ago, Pakistani militants in the region had imposed bans on beard trimming and Western-style haircuts. The recent attack adds to a series of militant incidents in Pakistan, where authorities actively target TTP hideouts to prevent the group from regaining influence following the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan after two decades of conflict. As investigations unfold, the motive behind this gruesome attack remains unclear, with no immediate claims of responsibility.

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