Tuesday 28 March 2017

Taliban attack on school van kills four children to teach local militia a lesson

Riaz Khan in Peshawar

Taliban gunmen attacked a school van in north-western Pakistan yesterday, killing four children and the driver in an assault they said was to punish local tribesman for resisting the insurgent movement.

At least 12 boys, two girls and two female teachers were wounded in the attack in Matani, on the outskirts of Peshawar, said a police officer.

Two local tribal leaders in Matani have formed militias to stop militant infiltration into Peshawar from the nearby border regions with Afghanistan. They get financial and logistical help from the government, and have killed or captured many militants over the last 18 months.

In return, they and their families have been targeted by the militants, who controlled the area until three years ago. Its proximity to the tribal regions and Peshawar make it highly strategic.

"This was to teach them a lesson, and we will continue to carry out attacks wherever and whenever possible, no matter if it is a school or a school bus," said Mohammad Afridi, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman in the Dara Adam Khel region, close to Matani.

Irish Independent

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