Taliban militants strapped explosives on the bodies of two men they accused of spying for the US and blew them up in a public execution, as the Army killed 11 rebels in Orakzai and six surrendered ahead of a deadline to lay down arms.

Taliban carried out the execution yesterday in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan where the US authorities suspect that large number of top al Qaeda, Taliban and Haqqani network commanders are hiding.

“Masked Taliban gunmen strapped explosive devices to the bodies of the two alleged spies and blew them up before a big crowd,” local police officials said.

The Taliban asked residents of two villages to gather at two specified spots in Datta Khel, located 25 km west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

Dozens of armed Taliban fighters then brought the two men to the spots.

Taliban commanders initially told the people that the two men, whom they described as US spies, would speak and confess to their involvement in several drone attacks.

Local residents were quoted by The News daily as saying that the militant commanders subsequently said the two men “were not in a position to speak” due to paucity of time and the fear of a drone strike.

Taliban frequently kidnap and kill fellow tribesmen in Pakistan’s lawless northwest, but normally they slit their throats or shoot them, but locals said it was the first such killing.

The Taliban handed out the barbaric punishment as they fear that these “spies” pass on the information to the US which then deploys drones to attack their hideouts.

The two men were accused by the militants of being involved in a recent drone strike that killed 35 people.

Witnesses said body parts of the two men were scattered over a large area and could not be gathered for burial.

Taliban have killed dozens of tribesmen they have accused of spying for the US in the past few years but this was the first time that the killings were carried out in such a manner.

As Taliban were in action in North Waziristan where US is putting pressure on Pakistan Army to carry out a campaign, Pakistani troops stepped up the pressure on the adjacent Orakzai agency, killing 11 militants in a fierce encounter.

Taliban fighters stormed a check post in Dabori area of Orakzai agency. In the ensuing gun battle, eight militants were killed and two security men injured.

Officials claimed 15 militants were injured in retaliatory action by the security forces.

More In: International | News