Gunmen ambush Pakistan school minibus: police | world | Hindustan Times
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Gunmen ambush Pakistan school minibus: police

world Updated: Feb 27, 2009 11:46 IST

Gunmen on Friday ambushed a minibus carrying children to school in remote northwest Pakistan, killing the driver, wounding two children and apparently kidnapping six others, police said.

The bus was ambushed outside the town of Hangu in the country's troubled North West Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan and is plagued by sectarian violence as well as Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

"Unknown gunmen fired at the school van carrying Shiite students. The driver was killed, two children were injured, while six appear to have been kidnapped by the attackers," local police station chief Saeed Khan told AFP.

"Police are searching for the attackers in the nearby mountains," he added, saying he had no further details about the missing students.

Hangu, which has been a flashpoint for sectarian violence in the past, is located about 175 kilometres (110 miles) west of the capital Islamabad.

Shiite and Sunni Muslim groups signed a peace accord in Hangu last month after days of sectarian clashes in which at least nine people were killed.

Shiites account for about 20 per cent of Pakistan's 160-million-strong, Sunni-majority population.

The groups usually coexist peacefully but outbreaks of sectarian violence have claimed more than 4,000 lives across Pakistan since the late 1980s.