Singers, CD shop owners face Taliban wrath in Pakistan
Apr 13, 2007 - 6:57:18 PM

Islamabad, April 13 - Taliban extremists shaved the heads and moustaches of a troupe of singers and smashed their musical equipment in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province and later violently interrupted a marriage party and took six people hostage.

Quoting eyewitnesses, Online news agency reported that the Islamists intercepted the musicians Thursday night in the Doda area of Shah Hasan Khel, 20 km from Lakki Marwat, where the group was due to perform at three weddings. They beat up the troupe members and smashed their instruments, the militants then shaved the performers' heads and moustaches, a witness said.

The angry hosts of one wedding party chased the Taliban and a clash ensued in which two local residents were wounded, police said.

The militants then took six people hostage.

In a separate incident, the Taliban tortured a local official, Abdul Khalil Ishaq, and also shaved his moustache. Ishaq later convened a jirga, a meeting of tribal heads, in Darkhaiz and Jang Khel, which decided to form a lashkar -.

The lashkar attacked the Taliban in Shah Hassan Khel and clashes are reported to be continuing. The local administration has summoned the Frontier Constabulary and police to control the situation.

In Peshawar, the Taliban has asked CD shop owners to close their businesses. Three boys visited the Nishtarabad CD market and asked the owners to shut businesses 'as it was forbidden in Islam', Sher Dil, president of the Nishtarabad Video Centres Union told Daily Times.

He said the union later met city police chief Abdul Majeed Marwat, who assured them of police support. Security had been tightened around the market.

The Nishtarabad video market is the biggest in Peshawar and around 1,200 people are engaged in the business. 'We don't produce any kind of obscene material here,' Sher Dil said.

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