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8 Killed in Pakistan Shootings, Including 6 Teachers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Eight people, including six teachers, were killed in two separate shootings in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, officials said.

There was no initial claim of responsibility for the attacks, which occurred within a four-mile radius of Karam, the only Shia-majority city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province near the Afghan border.

According to police, both attacks had a sectarian motive as the area has a history of conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

In the first shooting, unknown assailants targeted a moving vehicle, killing a Sunni school teacher and injuring another teacher, officials said.

Shortly thereafter, the attackers entered the staff room of a nearby government school and opened fire, killing five teachers and two construction workers.

Muhammad Imran, a police officer in Karam district, said that the attackers killed him after identifying him as a Shia believer.

No students were present at the school at the time of the shooting.

Local aid workers said they believed both attacks were revenge, although it was unclear what was behind the initial attack. Police have not yet issued an official statement regarding the deaths.

Azam Ali, the representative of the local government, said that the reaction to the attack on the school attacker is known.

An Islamic State cell called ISIS-K and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, are both known to operate in the region.

In recent months, the Taliban have increased their attacks on police and military targets in the northwest of the country. Pakistani Taliban have also attacked schools. 145 people died – including 132 school children – one in Peshawar in 2014.

Following Thursday’s shooting, the government postponed the upcoming school exams in the region. Officials said local hospitals began operating under emergency conditions, and all roads leading to Karam were closed.

The region has a history of sectarian violence and has often targeted Shiites. In 2017, 24 people were killed and more than 70 injured in a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in Parachinar, a town in Kurram district.

President of Pakistan Arif Alvi has condemned the killing of teaching staff. According to a statement from his office, Mr. Alvi hoped that the culprits would be caught and punished according to law.

Details of the attacks so far suggest they were part of a long-standing tribal rivalry with a sectarian dimension, experts said.

“Particularly worrisome is that they come amid a resurgence of jihadist groups that fueled a wave of sectarian tribal conflict in the region a decade ago,” said Arif Rafiq, president of Vizier Consulting, a political risk advisory firm in New York. gave the wind.” York

“The Pakistani state is capable of resolving inter-tribal conflicts,” he said. Can see something like a wave.”

Salman Masood Report from Islamabad, and Ziaur Rehman From Peshawar, Pakistan



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