5 teachers among 8 killed in Kurram firing incidents: police

Published May 4, 2023
This handout photograph taken and released by the Pakistan’s Office of Assistant Commissioner Parachinar district Kurram, on May 4, 2023 shows security personnel and officials at the site of sectarian violence in a school in Parachinar. — AFP
This handout photograph taken and released by the Pakistan’s Office of Assistant Commissioner Parachinar district Kurram, on May 4, 2023 shows security personnel and officials at the site of sectarian violence in a school in Parachinar. — AFP
People gather outside the district headquarters hospital in Kurram on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
People gather outside the district headquarters hospital in Kurram on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
People gather outside the district headquarters hospital in Kurram on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV
People gather outside the district headquarters hospital in Kurram on Thursday. — DawnNewsTV

At least eight people, including five teachers, were killed in separate incidents of firing in the Parachinar area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kurram district on Thursday, police said.

Upper Kurram District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Imran told Dawn.com that the first shooting incident took place on a road near the Shalozan area and the second at Teri Mengal School — which a Dawn.com correspondent present in the area said was at a distance of around six kilometres from the site of the first incident.

Later, he said while speaking to the media that one person, a teacher, was killed in the first incident and seven in the school shooting. He added that those killed at the school included four teachers and three drivers.

Separately, Rescue 1122 official Syed Ghayyur Hussain told Dawn.com that bodies of the school shooting victims were taken to district headquarters hospital, Parachinar.

Security beefed up

DPO Imran told the media that measures were being taken and negotiations being carried out with tribal leaders to bring the situation back to normalcy after the attacks.

He said the Kohat division deputy inspector general of police and commissioner had reached Parachinar after the incidents, adding that security had been beefed up and routes blocked in the area.

The official said a probe into the incidents was under way.

Earlier, Zahid Hussain, a representative of the Teacher Union, told Dawn.com that they had decided to keep schools in the area closed until the culprits were caught.

Staging a protest outside the Parachinar Press Club, he urged teachers across KP to close schools from tomorrow.

Reports sought

State broadcaster Pakistan Television Corporation reported that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incidents and had sought a detailed report from relevant authorities on the attacks.

Separately, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said in a tweet that he, too, had sought a report from the interior secretary and assured that the perpetrators would be punished.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the office of KP caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan attributed the killings to a property dispute.

The statement said the CM had taken notice of the matter and sought a report on the incidents from police and the relevant administration.

It carried his instructions to take immediate measures for the arrest of those involved in the incidents.

“Nobody will be allowed to take the law into their hands. Those sabotaging peace in the area will be dealt with iron hands,” the CM said, vowing that the perpetrators of today’s incidents would be taken to task.

The statement said he issued directives for taking all the needed measures for ensuring peace in the area and the provision of timely treatment for the injured.

It added that the CM expressed grief over the loss of lives, terming the firing incidents “very unfortunate and condemnable” and extended condolences to the heirs of the victims.

Condemnations

President Arif Alvi condemned the attacks, grieving the killing of “on-duty teachers”.

“The attack on teachers by the enemies of knowledge is condemnable,” a statement on Twitter quoted him as saying.

The president said he hoped that the “suspects will be arrested soon and punished according to the law”.

He offered prayers for the slain individuals and extended condolences to their heirs.

In his condemnation, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also demanded punishment for those behind the attacks and an “immediate and complete investigation of the matter by police and the administration”.

A statement on the PPP’s Twitter quoted him as saying that such incidents could not be tolerated at any cost and that their prevention should be ensured.

Another statement on the PPP’s official Twitter said the party’s co-chairperson and former president, Asif Ali Zardari, had termed the “killing of on-duty teachers” an act of “terrorism”.

The statement quoted him as saying that the perpetrators of the attack should be taken to task.

He offered prayers for the deceased and extended condolences to the bereaved.

Meanwhile, a statement on the National Assembly’s Twitter said Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani had termed the attacks a “heinous act by elements working against humanity”.

The statement quoted them as saying that these elements wanted to “sabotage peace in the country”.

Expressing grief over the deaths of slain individuals, they demanded the “strictest punishment” by law enforcers for elements involved in “such heinous atrocities and terrorism”.

Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sajid Hussain Turi, Shia organisation Anjuman-i-Hussainia’s secretary Inayat Hussain and Syed Tajammul Hussain, president of Shia organisation Tehreek-i-Hussaini, also condemned the incidents.

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