Pakistan: For The Second Time In A Week, Militants Bomb Girls' School

Pakistan: For The Second Time In A Week, Militants Bomb Girls' School

Both schools which were attacked are situated in former tribal areas close to the border with Afghanistan, where militancy has increased since the Afghan Taliban's return to power in Kabul.

Siksha MUpdated: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 08:11 PM IST
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Representative image | Twitter/@Mjibran71321630

Suspected militants bombed a girl's school in a former Pakistani Taliban stronghold on Friday, 17 May, partially damaging the structure. According to Wana Welfare Association in Peshawar, which runs the school, nobody was hurt in the overnight attack as the school was empty.

The attack happened in South Waziristan, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

This is the second attack on a girls' school in just over a week. Both schools are situated in former tribal areas close to the border with Afghanistan, where militancy has increased since the Afghan Taliban's return to power in Kabul.

"About a month ago, we received a letter from a militant group demanding a specific portion of our funding. A few days later, another letter was thrown into our office, demanding a payment of 10 million rupees ($36,000)," a senior member of the Wana Welfare Association in Peshawar told AFP News.

Following that, the school started receiving threatening calls from Afghan numbers, demanding extortion money.

The senior member also alleged that school administration was told that there were certain demands coming from local Taliban fractions.

He added that the group made numerous attempts to reach out to the militant groups but were unsuccessful. "Those who refuse to pay are targeted, with their homes damaged or themselves killed," he said to AFP news.

It is suspected that the culprits were Islamic militants, specifically the Pakistani Taliban, who had previously targeted girl's schools in the province, saying that women should not be educated.

Till a few years ago, Pakistan's northwest region witnessed multiple attacks on girls' schools, particularly in the Swat Valley where former tribal regions were long controlled by the Pakistani Taliban.

Girls' education has been a longstanding target of regional militants

Pakistan Taliban has been notorious for shooting Malala Yousafzai in 2012, when she was a schoolgirl campaigning for girls' right to education in the country.

The group that was suspected to be responsible behind attacking her, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), denied it was behind the assault.

Pakistan's border region has long been a hotspot for militancy and has faced military offensives and US drone strikes since 9/11.

After the Taliban regained power in Kabul in 2021, militancy in Pakistan has surged, mainly in border areas.

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