Six people, including four teachers and two other staff, have been killed in a shooting at a school in Pakistan.
A group of armed men stormed the public school where students were taking exams.
The atrocity could have been in retaliation for an earlier attack in which another teacher was shot on a nearby road, officials said.
The victim of the first incident was a Sunni Muslim, while those targeted in the attack on the school were Shia Muslims, regional commissioner Saiful Islam said.
Both incidents occurred in the Parachinar area of the Kurram tribal district in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which borders Afghanistan.
The district has a predominantly Shia population that is often attacked by Sunni militant groups from the local Taliban movement.
Mr Islam said sectarian antagonism appeared to be the cause of the killings, while the province’s chief minister’s office said the shootings involved a property dispute.
“It is unclear whether the second incident was a reaction to the first,” said the commissioner, who added that security had been tightened in an area already strained by sectarian violence.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks and local police chief Abbas Ali said it was unclear whether they were linked.
“We are looking at all aspects, and so far we have no idea who killed the teachers,” he said.
The prime minister of PakistanShehbaz Sharif, condemned the attacks and ordered an investigation.
Earlier Thursday, six Pakistani soldiers were killed in a shootout in North Waziristan, another district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
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The army did not provide any details of the shooting but said three militants were also killed.
The area is a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban – the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, as the group is also known – as well as other militants. The TTP is a separate but allied group to the Afghan Taliban.
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 emboldened the TTP, which increased attacks across Pakistan, mainly targeting security forces.
In recent weeks, the army has carried out multiple raids on militant hideouts in the northwest, leaving dozens of insurgents killed or arrested.