Pakistan

Taliban blow up girls’ school in South Waziristan

TIARZA, SOUTH WAZIRISTANl: Militants said Saturday they had blown up a girls’ school in Pakistan’s restive northwest, the latest in a string of attacks on educational institutions.

There were no casualties, but the bomb destroyed three out of five classrooms of the government girls’ primary school in Tiarza village of tribal South Waziristan, a local security official told AFP.

Azam Tariq, a spokesman for the “Sajna” arm of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the school had been targeted because it was run by the military and the group was opposed to female education.

Tariq told AFP that militants captured 18 people including school security guards and labourers before planting the explosive, but later released them.

Hundreds of schools have been blown up by the terrorists since 2002.

Pakistan’s army stepped up its offensive in the region after the Taliban’s massacre of 153 people, mostly school children, in Peshawar in December 2014, and killed or pushed hundreds of militants to Afghanistan.

Last month Taliban gunmen stormed Bacha Khan University in the northwestern town of Charsadda, killing 21 people in a chilling reminder of their ongoing ability to carry out occasional high-profile and brazen attacks.

Overall, levels of militant-linked violence have dropped dramatically, with 2015 seeing the fewest deaths among civilians and security forces since 2007 — the year the Pakistani Taliban umbrella group was formed.

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