Thursday, May 04, 2023
UPPER KURRAM: At least eight people, including five teachers, were killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Upper Kurram Tehsil, the district administration said Thursday, in the latest incident of violence in the northwestern province.
Local police said that in the first incident in Parachinar, which falls in Upper Kurram and is the capital of Kurram district, a teacher was killed whilst in a moving vehicle.
Separately, unidentified gunmen shot seven people, including four teachers, in the staffroom of Government High School Tari Mangal. All the educators were at the building for performing their exam duties.
The district administration said the three others killed were drivers who brought construction materials to the school.
Following the shootings, the authorities have imposed emergency in all hospitals in the area.
The teacher, named Mohammad Sharif, who was killed inside the car also belonged to the same school, said the police. The teacher was shot while he was travelling on Shalozan Road.
The bodies of those killed were sent to their ancestral villages for burial, the administration added.
Following the incidents, the ongoing matriculation exams — which kicked off on April 28 and are being held under the supervision of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Kohat — were postponed till further notice. All educational institutions were also closed till further notice.
The police are searching for the killers, but have not been able to track them down so far.
Meanwhile, citizens of the area held a protest over the killings in front of the local press club.
School shootings are rare in Pakistan. Over 140 people, mostly students, were killed in a gun-and-bomb attack at an army school in Peshawar in December 2016.
President Dr Arif Alvi said that the attack on the teachers by those who are the enemies of education is condemnable.
Condemning the attack, the head of state expressed grief over the assassination of on-duty teachers in two incidents.
The president hoped that the suspect would be punished soon as per the law. He also prayed for the elevation of ranks in paradise and sympathised with the bereaved families.
Asif Ali Zardari, former president and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman, expressed regret over the killing of the teachers. "Killing of teachers while they are performing their duty is terrorism," he said in a statement.
"Criminals involved in the killing of teachers should be brought to justice," Zardari said as he prayed for the forgiveness of the deceased.
Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sajid Hussain Turi demanded strict action against the perpetrators.