WEB DESK: Authorities evacuated a girls’ school Friday when hundreds of terrified parents rushed to save their daughters after rumours of an attack, highlighting frayed nerves days after gunmen stormed a university killing 21 people. The incident in Faisalabad came as the Taliban faction behind Wednesday’s massacre at the Bacha Khan university in the country’s north-west vowed to target schools across Pakistan. Police said rumours of an attack at the Tandlianwala girls’ high school in Faisalabad had spread swiftly, sending teachers and students racing for safety.
“The panic increased after a security guard fired shots in the air as students and teachers were running to the main gate,” Mehar Fazal Abbas, a senior police official, told AFP. Another police official in Tandlianwala confirmed the incident and told AFP that some girls had phoned their parents for help as the rumour spread. Hundreds of parents raced to the school to protect their children, he added.
Video footage seen by AFP shows terrified parents shouting and kicking at the school’s main iron gate. Authorities later evacuated the school and closed it down. On Thursday, one day after the attack, authorities carried out a mock drill at a university in Punjab that saw a similar panic among students who did not realise it was fake.