- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Tribesmen tied a Pakistani soldier to the hood of a car and stoned him to death in the country’s restive northwest for allegedly having a romantic relationship with a local woman, government officials and a tribal elder said Wednesday.

The grisly incident took place Tuesday in Parachinar, the capital of the Kurram tribal area. Kurram is part of Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region, which runs along the country’s border with Afghanistan and is dominated by conservative Pashtun tribesmen.

The soldier, Nooruddin Aalam, allegedly began his relationship with the woman during a previous posting in the area, a local government official said. Aalam was transferred elsewhere three months ago but returned to see the woman in recent days, said the official.

Residents allegedly caught the couple dating, said a local tribal elder. Leaders of various tribes met Monday and decided the soldier should be executed according to Islamic law, the elder said.

A second government official said locals took Aalam to a graveyard, tied him to the hood of a car and stoned him to death, then shot him.

One resident also shot the soldier, the tribal elder said. The woman allegedly involved in the incident is with the family of a local tribal elder, and her fate will be decided later, he said.

The government officials and tribal elder spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from local tribesmen.

A military official confirmed the death of the soldier but did not provide any additional details. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with official policy.

It is quite rare for people to be stoned to death in Pakistan, but when it does occur, the victim is more often a woman than a man.

Also Wednesday, police in a southwestern province announced the arrest of 11 children and teenagers between  ages 11 and 18 for allegedly having planted bombs for a violent separatist group. Eight of the 11 were presented to the media to be photographed.

The children were arrested Tuesday evening after a shootout in a park in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province, said the city’s police chief, Zubair Mehmood. Eight people got away during the gunfight, he said.

The children, who come from poor families, have confessed to planting bombs for the United Baluch Army in return for up to about $50 each time, said Chief Mehmood. At least 12 people have been killed in Quetta since December because of these bomb attacks, he said.

Baluch separatists have been fighting a bloody insurgency against the Pakistani government for decades.

• Associated Press writer Abdul Sattar contributed to this article from Quetta.



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