Militants blow up 16 schools in Pakistan in February

PESHAWAR: Taliban-linked militants blew up a school in northwest Pakistan, bringing to 16 the number of such attacks this month, officials said Friday.

“Militants blew up 16 boys’ and girls’ schools in the tribal regions of Mohmand, Bajaur, Khyber and Dara Adamkhel during the current month,” provincial education minister, Sardar Hussain Babak told AFP.

He blamed the attacks on Taliban and other extremist groups, including Lashkar-i-Islam, which has some links to Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The latest government boys’ high school to be attacked was blown up overnight in the Mohmand tribal region, officials said.

“All 21 rooms in the school building were destroyed after bombs planted in seven different places went off,” local administration official Roshan Khan told AFP.

Another official Maqsood Khan confirmed the incident and said no one was hurt in the attack, which he blamed on the Taliban.

Militants opposed to co-education and advocates of sharia law have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in northwest Pakistan in recent years.

In North West Frontier Province, only 22 per cent of women and girls older than 15 are literate. Only seven per cent of women and girls older than 10 are literate in the semi-autonomous tribal areas, the United Nations has said.

Pakistan has waged multiple military offensives against militant havens in its tribal belt.

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