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Pakistani cop shoots two Catholic girls' school students

Swat's Public School Sangota students. A policeman shot and killed two girls on May 16. (Photo: Crux News screenshot)

A police officer assigned to secure a Catholic girl's school in Pakistan killed two after he opened fire at a bus loaded with students and teachers.

Police constable Alam Khan fired at the bus about to leave the Sangota Public School in northwestern Pakistan around two in the afternoon on May 16.

Authorities posted Khan at the school due to growing concern over possible assaults by armed militants, police senior officer Nasir Satti has said. 

But Satti has believed the firing at the bus transporting teachers and students was not a militant attack.

The bus was still parked inside the school campus when it was fired at.

Khan was immediately arrested by authorities.

Satti said investigations were ongoing into what triggered Khan to shoot at the vehicle.

she said that Khan was tasked to protect the school as concern over possible militant attacks has mounted, as reported by Crux News. 

The Catholic girl's school was in Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin run it.

The Swat Valley was a base for the Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, until 2019.

Police have been deployed at schools following the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, the capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in 2014, when about 150 people, mostly children, were killed.

On May 4 this year, several teachers were killed when armed men attacked a state-run school in Kurram, also a province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist group consisting primarily of students that originated in Afghanistan in 1994. It ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. The US and its allies invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 ended the Taliban's government. But it returned to power when it seized Kabul anew in 2021 after US troops and its allies withdrew. The Taliban government restricts the rights of women and girls to work and education.

One of the two fatalities on Tuesday was a nine-year-old girl.

Four students and a woman who were onboard the vehicle were also injured, Satti added.

The injured passengers were rushed to Saidu Sharif Hospital, the nearest one. The doctors announced that the wounded were now in stable condition.- Oliver Samson


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.