Pakistani students gather outside their school after it was destroyed by the Taliban militants


‘Taliban sets Pakistani school on fire’
Sat, 17 Jan 2009 11:33:04 GMT


Taliban militants have destroyed a public school building and damaged two other houses in restive Swat valley in northwest Pakistan.

Police officials said unknown militants exploded a state boy’s high school in Mingora city in Swat valley on Saturday.
Taliban militants had earlier warned the state-run and private educational institutions not to enroll girls in schools, setting January 15 as the deadline for the ban in Swat valley.
Hundreds of schools in Pakistani northwestern region have shut the doors to girls to comply with the Taliban edict banning girls’ education.

Taliban militants have banned female education in northwest Pakistan valley of Swat, depriving more than 40,000 girls of schooling while holding security forces at bay, officials said Saturday. Many families have fled for the nearby cities of Peshawar and Mardan, while many police officers have either deserted or simply refused to serve.


Swat had been a popular tourist destination, despite deep-seated Islamic conservatism, among communities nestling among the mountains and lakes.

in late 2007, when militant leader Mullah Fazlullah led a revolt just months after the army put down an uprising at Islamabad’s Red Mosque, where clerics had also used militancy in a campaign to enforce Islamic law in the Pakistani capital.

The killing of scores of people, including women and children, during the army’s siege of Red Mosque had ignited Islamist anger with the government and contributed to the wave of violence that has gripped Pakistan since then

Taliban issued an ultimatum warning parents against sending their daughters to school, saying female education was “unIslamic.”

Government schools have been shut down, and some 300 private schools due to reopen next month after the winter break will probably remain closed, a senior official said.


Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has offered strong words, saying the closure of the schools was contrary to Islam, and warned the militants would pay for their anti-state actions.