Militants bomb school in northwestern Pakistan

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Police in northwestern Pakistan said that suspected Taliban militants have blown up a primary school that educated girls on Tuesday.

Northwest Pakistan
Image: Morwen.

Officials say there were no casualties in the blast, which occurred on the outskirts the city of Peshawar, because the school was closed for the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"The school building, which consisted of three rooms was destroyed in the blast," said Hamdullah Khan, a local police official. He said that the explosion was likely caused by a timed explosive device.

Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants who oppose the education of women have destroyed hundreds of girls' schools across the country. Almost 200 schools were destroyed in the Swat valley after a two-year campaign to enforce sharia law was made by Maulana Fazaullah, a radical Islam cleric.

"The school building, which consisted of three rooms was destroyed in the blast."

—Hamdullah Khan, police official

On Monday, police killed a suicide bomber trying to assassinate a regional education minister in the country's northwestern regions.

In other violence, Pakistani security forces say they have arrested eleven suspected militants, including three Afghanis, during security operations in Malakand and Swat districts. In a statement released Tuesday, officials say they also found four inter-linked tunnels and bomb-proof bunkers during a separate search operation near Swat's Biakand area.