PESHAWAR, Dec 22: Militants attacked three English-medium schools in the city on Monday, set their five buses on fire and ransacked the office of the principal of one of the schools and other property.

The three private schools — Peshawar Model School (boys branch), Frontier Model School (boys branch) and Frontier Model School (girls branch) — located on the Warsak Road are considered to be among leading private educational institutions in the city.

Four employees of the Peshawar Model School; physical training instructor Sher Mohammad, watchmen Mohammadullah and Aurangzeb and auto-mechanic Naveed; were injured and two of them were said to be in a serious condition.

Watchman Samiullah told Dawn that about 15 masked men armed with heavy weapons carrying oil canisters entered the school building, snatched the keys of the gates from the watchmen, sprinkled oil on four parked buses and set them on fire.

He said the militants hurled petrol bombs on classrooms on the ground floor, torched a deep freezer in the canteen and damaged the crockery and other items.

They also placed a bomb in the accounts section, ransacked the principal’s office and smashed windowpanes of several classrooms.

According to bomb disposal personnel, the explosive weighing over 2 kg was a remote-controlled device.

Eyewitnesses said that fire tenders were called after the militants had left the place but by the time two of the buses had been destroyed.

The militants also attacked the main gate of the Frontier Model School with a grenade.

Superintendent of the school Anwar Siddiqui told Dawn that the militants were appeared to be in a hurry. They tried to break open the gate but could not do so.

The militants entered the other Frontier Model School and torched its buses. However, the watchman put out the fire.

Security forces recently conducted an operation in areas near the Warsak Road and claimed that the localities had been cleared of militants.

Police said they had arrested three men who possessed arms and explosives.

SSP (coordination) Qazi Jamil told Dawn that the suspects carried two grenades and two Kalashnikovs.

He said that the Peshawar Model School would remain closed for three days for repairs, but other schools would open on Tuesday.

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