BAJAUR AGENCY - A remote-controlled IED blast in Bajaur Agency left six people, including three female teachers and two schoolchildren, dead in Tehsil Salarzai of Bajaur Agency on Tuesday.

Officials of the administration and locals said the incident occurred around 8 am on Tuesday morning in the far-flung area of Thangi, some 10 kilometres northeast of Khar, the administrative headquarters of Bajaur Agency.

They said three female teachers along with their two children and driver were going from Khar to Thangai area in a van for performing duty at a girls’ school.

The vehicle carrying female teachers of an NGO working for the female education hit the roadside bomb detonated through a remote-controlled device near Thangi village killing all the 6 people onboard,” the official added.

The slain people were identified as lady teachers Tabinda Bibi, a resident of Kot Mena Malakand Agency, Sameera Bibi, resident of district Mardan, Salama Bibi, resident of Thana Malkand Agency, Abbas, 6, Abbas, 5, and driver Laiq Shah, a resident of Inam Khoro Chinagi Mamond.  Locals said the bomb exploded with a bang and the sound was heard at far lung places creating fear and panic among the people. “I was working in my field situated near the road when I heard a loud blast soon after a vehicle came on the Kacha Road,” Akbar Khan a resident of the area said. According to the local administration the van was completely destroyed while a passerby was also injured in the explosion.

Soon after the blast locals along with members of the peace committee rushed to the scene and retrieved the bodies and the injured.  Later, the bodies and injured were shifted to Agency Headquarters Hospital Khar. Security forces and personnel of Bajaur Levies also reached the site after the blast, cordoned off the area and started a search operation to apprehend the culprits. Sources in the administration, however, told this correspondent that no arrest was made till Tuesday evening. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast but the officials held militants responsible for the attack.

“We have started investigation about the tragic incident but according to credible information militants can be responsible for the attack as these elements has been involved in such activities in the past,” said an official of the administration.