Seven including five teachers killed in Pakistan school shooting – Times of India

Parachinar, Pakistan: Five teachers and two laborers were shot dead on Thursday in a school in northwestern Pakistan. Sunni-Shia sectarian tensionpolice and government officials said.
Two shooters entered a school in the remote border town of Teri Mangal, less than a kilometer (0.6 miles) from the Afghan border Curram district, as teachers collected exam papers that had been completed earlier in the day.
“When the two attackers went inside (the school), they identified Shiites and separated them before opening fire,” the district’s police chief Muhammad Imran told AFP.
Amir Nawaz, a senior local government official, said the shootings occurred after news spread that a man from the Sunni Muslim community had died in hospital from injuries sustained in an attack on his car earlier in the day.
Nawaz confirmed the death toll in both the attacks, saying, “The first incident happened at 11:30 am (06:30 GMT) and the second attack happened at 2:30 pm. These attacks were linked to communal violence.”
“The teachers were preparing and compiling papers when the gunmen entered the school,” he said.
Local health official Zulfikar Khan said a state of emergency has been declared in local hospitals.
An AFP journalist saw the teachers’ bodies being carried out of the hospital in coffins and loaded into ambulances to be taken to burial sites.
Police said authorities are in talks with both the religious communities to restore peace in the Shia-dominated Kurram district, which has a decades-long history of sectarian violence.
A Jirga Sabha – a tribal council of community elders responsible for settling disputes – was underway.
Former provincial police chief Akhtar Ali Shah told AFP that religious tensions in the district have been simmering for decades and have practically split Kurram in two.
He added, “(A) Shia population on one side and Sunni population on the other. Even a small incident can incite conflict, so caution is always necessary.”
An intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that tensions have escalated in the last one month, with four people killed in separate shootings.
Shia Muslims make up about 20 percent of Pakistan’s population of over 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.