HANGU - At least eight people of a family including two women and a six-year-old girl were gunned down when unidentified armed men barged into a house and opened fire on them in district Hangu on Wednesday.

Armed with automatic weapons at around 4 am, the assailants entered a house at Kahi Hakro Banda and opened indiscriminate fire on a family of internally displaced persons (IDPs) living now in a rented house there. Resultantly, all the eight people of the ill-fated family were killed.

Those gunned down were identified as Mir Rehman,70, his wife Taj Meena, her daughter Noor Mankhela, 30, her another daughter Yasmeen Bibi,11, Khalilur Rehman, 23, his son Mujahid, 18, grandson Ahmad Amin, 32, and Khazina,6 his granddaughter.

According to DSP Gul Jamal and SHO Abid Khan, all the eight members of the same family were killed by firing and the killers managed a good escape. Police took the bodies into custody and shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Hangu, besides launching an investigation into the matter. The victims were IDPs of the Ali Khel tribe in Orakzai Agency. However, they had shifted to Hangu district some six years back. Prior to that, they had also been living at the IDPs camp in Togh Saray.

Later, they moved to Khairsai locality in district Hangu. However, two days back, this ill-fated family had shifted to Kahi Hakro Banda, where they were killed. Soon after the incident, police launched a search operation in the area and arrested at least seven suspects.

Reports pouring in here said this could be sectarian incident. However, it is yet to be confirmed. It was feared that it might be the result of some personal enmity.