Taliban dynamites two schools in Pakistan

TTP insurgents on Dec. 9 dynamited two schools in Pakistan's Khyber district, officials said, as they attempted to avenge military action taken against them.

CA Online and wire service

2009-12-11

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — TTP (Pakistani Taliban) insurgents on Dec. 9 dynamited two schools in Pakistan's Khyber district, officials said, as they attempted to avenge military action taken against them.

The school attacks occurred in Bara, about 20km south of Peshawar and the buildings were reduced to rubble, but no one was injured in the early morning blasts.

Pakistan is struggling with a fierce TTP (Taliban) insurgency that has killed 72 people in bombings across the country in the past three days alone.

"Both main school buildings were completely destroyed," said Shafeerullah Wazir, the top administrative official of Khyber district, adding that only two classrooms remained standing in the two adjacent schools.

Violent extremists opposed to co-education have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in the northwest of the country in recent years.

Wazir said that militants had buried large quantities of dynamite around the outer walls of the government-run secondary school and primary school.

"Both TTP and Lashkar-e-Islam people are involved in this act," he said.

Pakistani troops launched an offensive in Khyber district, which straddles Peshawar and Afghanistan, in September to try and draw out both the TTP and home-grown militant group Lashkar-e-Islam (Army of Islam).

On Dec. 7, two explosions in Lahore occurred within seconds of each other, engulfing the popular Moon Market in flames. Police said that suicide bombers were behind the attack.

"Now it has been confirmed that two suicide bombers carried out these attacks. We have made some arrests but as yet there is no major breakthrough," said Chaudhry Shafiq, a deputy police chief in Lahore.

He said that the death toll from the blast in the nation's cultural capital had risen from 49 to 51, with about 140 people wounded.

[AFP]

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