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Three accused of Naltar valley shooting incident arrested

GILGIT: Police on Friday claimed to have arrested three suspects involved in the killing of six innocent people in a shooting incident that took place in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Naltar Valley on Thursday.

DIG Gilgit Waqas Ahmed during a press conference said that the murder was the result of personal enmity and a 12-14-year-old land dispute between two groups Naltar Bela and Naltar Paeen area.

Waqas said under the same hostility, there was another murder incident last year, but the latest one was much more gruesome, killing a woman and injuring a minor. The DIG said police had carefully collected the evidence of the crime scene that led to the detention of the accused.

He said they tracked down their footprints, and stabbed police to their motorcycles and then to the accused. Police nominated 16 people in the FIR in which, according to the DIG police, efforts are being made to arrest the rest of the accused. He said a joint investigation team had been formed under his supervision to investigate the incident.

The DIG police have promised to deal with the culprits with iron hands threatening to upload photos with weapons on social media to create chaos. He said a high warning had also been declared in Gilgit Baltistan due to the security situation.

On Thursday, at least six people were killed and seven others sustained severe bullet injuries after gunmen opened fire on a passenger vehicle in the Naltar Bala area of Gilgit  Baltistan (GB).

According to sources, the passenger bus was on its way from Gilgit to Naltar Bala Hunza when unidentified armed men opened fire on it near the Naltar Pine area of Gilgit. As a result, six passengers were killed on the spot, while seven others sustained severe bullet injuries.

Police said that the van was on its way from Gilgit to Naltar Bala when it was fired upon at the RC bridge by unidentified suspects.

After being informed, police and rescue officials rushed to the scene and shifted the bodies and the injured to DHQ Hospital for treatment, and postmortem, respectively. The five deceased all hailed from Naltar Bala, where the passenger vehicle was traveling to.

Meanwhile, heavy contingents of police and security forces reached the area and launched a search operation to apprehend the suspects. Police said that six local residents including a woman were killed in the incident, while seven passengers sustained injuries.

Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Muhammad Khalid Khurshid Khan had taken notice of firing on a citizen and sought a detailed inquiry report from CCPO GB. He ordered the immediate arrest of the criminals who fired on the vehicle.

He also instructed the provision of the best treatment facilities to the injured. The chief minister also extended sympathies to the bereaved heirs and expressed a deep sense of sorrow over the loss of lives.

Khalid appealed to the people to cooperate with the government to maintain law and order in the region and vowed to deal with the elements involved in the attack with an iron hand. The chief minister also directed authorities to take steps to protect passengers on Karakoram Highway.