SHABQADAR: Unidentified militants lobbed two hand grenades at the girls’ section of a private school, killing a woman teacher and injuring two students in Shabqadar, Charsadda on Wednesday.
Shabqadar Subdivisional Police Officer Abdul Rasheed said unidentified men threw the grenades into the Askari Foundation School and College from over the boundary wall. The devices exploded in front of school administrator Brigadier (retd) Bahramand Shah’s office and resulted in the death of teacher, Honey Bibi.
The victim, a resident of Pahalwan Qilla, died on the spot, while two girls of Class-IV also suffered minor injuries.
Parents rushed to the school after hearing about the blasts, while police and Frontier Constabulary officials stationed nearby also arrived and sealed off the building. After the school was secured, children were allowed to leave.
Brigadier Shah told The Express Tribune that Honey Bibi was in charge of the girls’ college section. He added she was leaving his office at around 12:30pm when the grenades were thrown into the school. Shah said she was severely injured in the blast and rushed to a hospital, but succumbed to her injuries.
According to Shah, the administration never received any threats nor was it harassed by extortionists.
He said that despite the attack, the staff was committed to its work and the school would continue to function.
Saba Gul, a student of Class-IV, recalled she was in the classroom when the loud explosion outside created chaos and children started crying. She remembered the fumes outside the classroom and that her class-fellows Eiman and Laila suffered injuries. “In the panic, we had to leave our books and bags behind,” she said.
Hansa Bibi, a Class-III student said the teachers barred them from leaving the school. She remembers a number of her peers crying in fear.
Social worker Shah Rehman said there was no ambulance to transport the injured nor were there any doctors in the emergency room of the Shabqadar hospital. Thus locals held a protest against the negligence of the medical staff.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack till this report was filed.
The school is a reputable English-medium institute in the area and around 1,000 boys and girls are enrolled in the institute up to college level.
In Shabqadar, some 20 schools have been blown up in recent times and most of them were targeted at night. In bordering Mohmand Agency, around 110 schools have been destroyed by militants, yet authorities have failed to arrest the culprits in most of the cases.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2014.
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