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Black Mountain

BLACK MOUNTAIN, a mountain range and district on the Hazara border of the North-West Frontier Province of India. It is inhabited by Yusafzai Pathans. The Black Mountain itself has a total length of 25 to 30 m., and an average height of 8000 ft. above the sea. It rises from the Indus basin near the village of Kiara, up to its watershed by Bruddur; thence it runs north-west by north to the point on the crest known as Chittabut. From Chittabut the range runs due north, finally descending by two large spurs to the Indus again. The tribes which inhabit the western face of the Black Mountain are the Hassanzais (2300 fighting men), the Akazais (1165 fighting men) and the Chagarzais (4890 fighting men), all sub-sections of the Yusafzai Pathans. It was in this district that the Hindostani Fanatics had their stronghold, and they were responsible for much of the unrest on this part of the border.

The Black Mountain is chiefly notable for four British expeditions: -

1. Under Lieut.-Colonel F. Mackeson, in 1852-53, against the Hassanzais. The occasion was the murder of two British customs officers. A force of 3800 British troops traversed their country, destroying their villages and grain, etc.

2. Under Major-General A.T. Wilde, in 1868. The occasion was an attack on a British police post at Oghi in the Agror Valley by all three tribes. A force of 12,500 British troops entered the country and the tribes made submission.

3. The First Hazara Expedition in 1888. The cause was the constant raids made by the tribes on villages in British territory, culminating in an attack on a small British detachment, in which two English officers were killed. A force of 12,500 British troops traversed the country of the tribes, and severely punished them. Punishment was also inflicted on the Hindostani Fanatics of Palosi.

4. The Second Hazara Expedition of 1891. The Black Mountain tribes fired on a force within British limits. A force of 7300 British troops traversed the country. The tribesmen made their submission and entered into an agreement with government to preserve the peace of the border.

The Black Mountain tribes took no part in the general frontier rising of 1897, and after the disappearance of the Hindostani Fanatics they sank into comparative unimportance.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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