Brudd på lokale skikker ligger bak kampene mellom innfødte pashtun-stammer og jihadister i Sør-Waziristan, Pakistan.
An intense clash between local tribesmen and foreign al-Qaeda fighters that has left approximately 130 people dead this week is prompting hope among Pakistani officials that resentment toward the outsiders is growing.
The battle, in the semiautonomous region of South Waziristan, has involved thousands of fighters. Local Pashtun tribe members — including many Taliban supporters — have squared off against Uzbek, Chechen and Arab militants, who since 2001 have massed near the border to plan attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, officials say. Most of those killed have been foreigners. About 10 civilian bystanders have also been killed this week, and many more have fled.
Tension between the tribal members and the foreign fighters has been simmering for months. Tribesmen had accused the foreigners of violating local customs, and the foreigners had begun to accuse locals of spying for the Pakistani and U.S. governments, according to a local official.
Uzbek militants had already beheaded a number of local people, according to Maulana Mairajuddin, a member of a far-right religious party who represents South Waziristan in Parliament.
Mairajuddin — who spoke by satellite phone from Wana, a town where much of the violence has taken place — said the fighting this week started with the abduction of four local women by the Uzbeks. Mairajuddin said he wished locals and the foreigners would stop fighting each other and return to battling U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan.