Following reports of violence during a protest in North Waziristan on Sunday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) released a statement in the afternoon saying that a check post in the area was assaulted by a group and in an exchange of fire, three people were killed while 15 were injured ─ including five soldiers.
According to the statement by the Army's media wing, MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir ─ both of whom are leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) ─ were leading the group.
"A group led by Mohsin Javed [Dawar] and Ali Wazir assaulted Kharqamar check post, Boyya, North Waziristan tribal district this morning. They wanted to exert pressure for release of suspected terrorists’ facilitator arrested the other day," added the statement, without specifying who the suspect was.
"Troops at the check post exercised maximum restraint in the face of provocation and direct firing on the post. Due to firing of the group, five Army soldiers got injured. In exchange of fire, three individuals who attacked the post lost their lives and 10 got injured," it said.
All injured have been shifted to Army Hospital for treatment, said the ISPR statement, adding that Ali Wazir along with 8 individuals have been arrested while Mohsin Javed [Dawar] is at large.
Dawar, while speaking to VOA Deewa, denied that the group opened fire and accused the Army of initiating violence.
Fazl Khan, a core committee member of PTM, said that the protesters were unarmed and innocent. "How can they reach Waziristan with arms when there is a check post at every kilometre?" Khan asked.
Director general of ISPR, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, in the evening addressed the "North Waziristan tribal district incident", saying that "innocent PTM supporters/workers need care".
"Only few are inciting and using them against state institutions for vested agenda. No one will be allowed to undo the gains of decades long national struggle & sacrifices especially of brave Pakistani tribals," Maj Gen Ghafoor said via Twitter.