Seven including five teachers killed in Pakistan school shooting

Seven including five teachers killed in Pakistan school shooting

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Five teachers and two laborers were shot dead on Thursday at a school in northwest Pakistan in an attack linked to Sunni-Shia sectarian tensions, police and government officials said.

“When the two attackers went inside (the school), they identified Shiites and separated them before opening fire,” Muhammad Imran, police chief of Pakistan’s former tribal region of Kurram district, told AFP.

Amir Nawaz, a senior government official in Parachinar, the main town of Shia-majority Kurram district, said the shooting happened after news spread that a man from the Sunni Muslim community had died in hospital following the attack earlier in the day.

Nawaz confirmed the death toll in both the attacks, saying, “The first incident occurred at 11:30 am (06:30 GMT) and the second incident occurred at 2:30 pm. These attacks were linked to communal violence.”

Zulfiqar Khan, an official with the local health department, said a state of emergency had been declared in local hospitals.

Police said officials were holding talks with both the communities to restore peace in the district, which borders Afghanistan and has a long history of sectarian violence.

Shia Muslims make up about 20 percent of Pakistan’s population of more than 220 million.

Kurram is part of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a semi-autonomous region in northwestern Pakistan that was merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in 2018, bringing it into the legal and administrative mainstream.

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