Girls’ School Set Ablaze in Bannu

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BANNU: According to report by Daily The News, unidentified miscreants torched a girls’ school in Meryan Tehsil of Bannu district on 29 Dec 2023 night.

The Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Kotka Mumbati Barakzai was targeted in the overnight incident. The building suffered a significant damage and the science lab was turned to ashes.

The miscreants also vandanised the boundary wall of the school besides stealing the solar panels. In a graffiti written near the main gate, they threatened to carry out more attacks if the school tried to resume classes.

The District Police Officer (DPO) Iftikhar Khan said teams collected evidence from the site and launched a thorough investigation into the terror act.

The schools in the district are currently closed due to the winter break. Meanwhile, the incident marks the first instance of a school being set ablaze in Bannu following the upswing in militant attacks which came after the government’s decision to terminate the ceasefire with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan last year.

However, this is not the first time this year that a girls’ school has been targeted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In May 2023, two girls’ schools were blown up by terrorists in the North Waziristan district.

This attack came after Islamabad initiated a new offensive against terrorists in response to a surge in attacks, including a destructive mosque bombing which claimed over 100 lives in February this year.

Inside View of Devastation

Historically, the TTP extremists have prohibited female education in areas which came under their control in the province’s northwestern region.

However, stability prevailed after the Pakistani military’s Operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014 along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, which targeted militant strongholds.

But the country has, regardless, seen a return of terrorism in the form of targeted attacks by terrorists, particularly since late 2022. This year, however, the terror attacks witnessed a surge in militancy, particularly suicide attacks that reached the highest level since 2014.

Acknowledgement: Published in Daily The News on 30 Dec 2023

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