New girls’ primary school in Pakistan blown up by Taliban
Children in conflicts, Girls' education
Security guards check students arriving at a school, which reopened earlier this month after being closed due to security threats following the Taliban assault on a university in Charsadda
The Pakistani Taliban has continued its assault on education in the country by blowing up a new primary school for girls.
A bomb destroyed three out of five classrooms of the newly constructed girls’ wing of a school in Tiarza village of tribal South Waziristan.
“We have blown up the school because it was a government installation,” said Azam Tariq, a spokesman for an arm of the Pakistani Taliban known as the “Sajna” group.
He also said the school was targeted because the group opposes education for girls.
It was the latest attack in a wave of violence that has seen hundreds of schools bombed since 2002, when the army moved into northwestern tribal areas to fight the Taliban.
It also came just days after students returned to Bacha Khan University in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where 20 people were killed and dozens wounded last month in a Taliban assault.
In December 2014, Taliban gunmen massacred 134 students at the Army Public School in nearby Peshawar.
No one was hurt in the latest attack in Pakistan’s tribal belt. Eighteen school security guards and labourers working on the South Waziristan site were abducted but later freed.
Attacks on education across the world have been increasing in recent years. Students, teachers and school buildings were attacked in more than 70 countries between 2009 and 2012 – by armed groups, state soldiers and criminal gangs.
To counteract this, more than 50 countries have now signed the Safe Schools Declaration. It commits them to protect education from attack and to use the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict.