IT is highly unfortunate to learn that the miscreants are resorting to extreme ways to create panic among the people merely for the fulfillment of their nefarious designs. Consider the incident in Hangu on Friday, when unknown assailants ambushed a minibus carrying children to school. The gunmen killed the driver and did not hesitate from firing at little ones, thus wounding two children. They also kidnapped six children. It is not only the parents of the victims who would be in a shock, but keeping in view the tactics the terrorists are using of late and the failure of the state to stop them, more and more people have been forced to live in an atmosphere of fear. The incident raises serious questions about the law and order situation in the restive area of the NWFP. Though incidents of kidnapping for ransom are quite common in the province, and the militants have been using it for generating money for their armed offensive against the government, the attack on the children's van is chilling, to say the least. It bears repeating that it is for the first time that a minibus carrying children has been attacked. The police is clueless about the identity of the gunmen, but since the children belonged to the Shia sect, the possibility of the incident being a sectarian-related crime cannot be ruled out. What is more, the area is notorious for having witnessed a lot of sectarian bloodletting in the past, with both Shias and Sunnis at loggerheads. It's time the security paraphernalia woke up to its duty of ensuring safety of citizens. The police must search every nook and cranny to recover the children and bring the perpetrators of this dreadful crime to justice.