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3 children die in suspected arson incident in Kohistan

Updated June 06, 2017

Three children, including two infants, were killed in what was reported as an arson incident in Gadar Pallas, Kohistan, early Tuesday.

According to reports, the house in which the children were residing in was set on fire by miscreants.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of Pallas, in a conversation with Dawn.com, said Haseena, 15 months, Asmaa, 9 months, and Arif, 3, were burned to death by the fire.

However, only Haseena’s body had been found till Tuesday afternoon, he said.

Muhammad Sharif, the complainant in the arson case, has nominated one Afzal Kohistani and his brothers in his first information report. According to Shahid, Kohistani and his brothers set the house on fire and managed to escape.

The SHO added that the incident appeared to be an act of vengeance for the murder of Kohistani's brothers in the Kohistan video case.

The Kohistan video case

In 2012, the Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of reports that a jirga had allegedly issued orders for the killing of four women and three men after a mobile phone video emerged of them singing and dancing at a wedding ceremony in a remote village in Kohistan.

The men and the girls from the video were allegedly murdered later.

Afzal Kohistani's brothers were reportedly among those killed. He has been pursuing a court case to secure justice for the victims.

Suspect denies involvement

While talking to Dawn.com, Afzal Kohistani denied his involvement in the deaths of the three minors, claiming that he was being blackmailed to stop pursuing the on-going court case.

He further stated that his opponents had themselves set their house on fire in an attempt to coerce an end to the court proceedings.

He also appealed to the government to provide protection for his family and himself.

A police investigation is ongoing.