Two girls schools blown up in NW Pakistan

11:12, September 24, 2010      

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Suspected militants blew up two girls schools in Pakistan's northwest, raising concern that the militants have extended their attacks on educational institutions to settled areas from the lawless tribal regions, police said Thursday.

The militants dynamited a girls primary school at Sulman Khel area, some 10 kilometers from Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, late Wednesday night, police said.

No one was hurt as the school was closed at the time of the blast, but four rooms of the school were destroyed, police said.

Another high school of girls was also attacked in the same area, destroying six rooms, a police officer said.

Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that the militants are targeting schools to "deprive women from education".

Officials say that five government schools were attacked in the insurgency-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in a week.

Over 400 schools have been blown up by suspected militants in the province and tribal regions since the security forces have launched operation against militants in 2003, according to official data. Many schools have been destroyed in the Swat valley in the northwest and the tribal regions.

Hussain said that the government will continue operation against the militants despite their attacks on schools and security forces.

"We are working on a plan how to counter threats to the students, teachers and educational institutions," he said. The extremists have taken shelter in the outskirts of Peshawar but the security arrangements are in place to curb "guerrilla war", he added.

Source: Xinhua


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