SOUTH WAZIRISTAN: One man was killed and a security official was injured in an attack on a girls’ school in the Azam Warsak area of South Waziristan district on Thursday.

According to the district police, unknown militants opened fire from a nearby mountain during Parents’ Day celebrations at the Army Public School for Girls. The students, parents, staff and security personnel, who were present inside the school at the time of the attack, remained unhurt.

The deceased, identified as Masti Khan, was passing by the school when a bullet hit him, a police official said. The injured security official was shifted to the hospital.

As security forces retaliated, the attackers fled to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area, an official said.

The incident, which brought back memories of the attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in 2014, resulted in fear and panic among the locals. They have demanded foolproof security for the school to avoid any tragedy in the future.

Militants have been targeting police and security forces in the area and carried out six attacks on Azam Warsak Police station during the past 40 days in which seven cops were martyred.

The police have reportedly vacated Raghzai and Khankot police stations along the border after militants intensified the attacks.

This was the first attack targeting a girls’ school in the area since the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan ended the ceasefire with the state on Nov 28 and vowed to carry out attacks across the country.

In a statement, the banned outfit said security forces had launched operations against its people in Bannu, Lakki Marwat and other districts of the province.

After their takeover of Kabul in August last year, the Afghan Taliban facilitated peace talks between the government and the TTP which resulted in the ceasefire. However, it failed to result in a cessation of attacks as the country saw a 50 per cent surge in attacks since the takeover, AFP reported while quoting data from the Pak Institute for Peace Studies.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2022

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