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8th August

Taliban School Burners...

Islamic extremists burn 70 schools in Pakistan

Pakistan flag Suspected pro-Taleban militants have burnt down three more girls' high schools in the Swat valley of north-west Pakistan, officials say.

Ten schools have been destroyed in the district in the last four days. Nearly 70 state-run schools have been burnt down in the area in recent months, affecting over 17,000 students.

There has been no word from militant groups in relation to the latest arson attacks, but local militants group have admitted to such attacks in the past. Correspondents say militant groups trying to enforce strict Islamic law want the schools to be shut down.

Figures released by the Pakistani army said that at least 94 militants, 14 soldiers and around 28 civilians had been killed over the previous week.

Correspondents says that the security situation in Swat has been steadily deteriorating since the breakdown last week of a peace agreement between the government and pro-Taleban cleric Maulana Fazlullah.


11th October

Update: Taliban School Burners...

Catholic run girls school the latest of 150 that have been attacked

Pakistan flagA Catholic-run girls' school in North-West Frontier Province has been bombed by Pakistani Taliban.

The Convent Girls' School was bombed by local Taliban and the school building was destroyed, according to the Catholic Church's National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP).

No one was killed or hurt because the school, run by Sri Lankan Apostolic Carmelite Sisters, was closed at the time due to threats. The sisters had also vacated the convent.

In the past two years, more than 150 girls' schools have been attacked in the North-West Frontier Province by Pakistani Taliban, the NCJP claims.


12th January

Update: TaliDancingBan...

Pakistan Taliban ban dancing but are OK with murder

Pakistan flagPakistan's celebrated dancing girls are fleeing in fear of their lives as Taliban militants increase their strength in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province.

The bullet-ridden body of Shabana in the centre of Mingora sent two clear messages to the locals in the Swat Valley's largest town: un-Islamic vices will no longer be tolerated, and the Taliban is now effectively in control.

Shabana's body was found slumped on the ground, strewn with bank notes, CDs of her dance performances and pictures from her photo album. In case anyone had not grasped the message the local Taliban commander Maulana Shah Dauran broadcast a warning on one of its FM radio stations in the valley: his men had killed her and if any other girls were found performing in the city's Banr Bazaar they would be killed one by one.

This weekend the last of the bazaar's dancing girls, many of whom had trained under Shabana's wing and lived in her house, were seen loading their belongings on to trucks and fleeing to the relative safety of Karachi and Lahore, where their talents remain in great demand.

The banishment marks a key turning point in the battle for the Swat Valley between Taliban militants and the Pakistan Army. It followed recent orders to close down girls' schools in the valley, shut shops selling music CDs and films, and edicts on barbers to stop shaving beards.

The performances of the dancing girls in Banr Bazaar had been one of the city's last vices , but in the narrow street where, until last week, they plied their trade, signs were posted on doors stating: We have stopped dancing, please do not knock on the door.


20th January

Update: An Education in the Lows of Humanity...

Pakistan taliban destroy schools to prevent the education of girls

Pakistan flagTaliban militants have blown up five schools in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern Swat valley, police said, one day after a government minister promised to keep them open.

The fresh attacks, one after another, follow a threat last month by a local Taliban commander to kill any girls attending classes after January 15 and blow up schools where they are enrolled.

Four boys’ schools and one girls’ school were blown up by militants, district police official Anwer Khan told AFP from Mingora, a bustling town in the scenic Swat valley, which used to be a popular tourist destination.

No one was injured in the bombings, but the school buildings were badly damaged, Khan said. Mingora schools were empty because of holidays.

Pakistan’s Information Minister Sherry Rehman on Sunday vowed to keep open all girls schools in Swat and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP): From March 1, all closed schools in Swat and NWFP will be reopened after the winter break .

Fearful of violent attacks that have already seen the torching of over 180 schools in the Swat Valley, school administrators have announced that more than 900 private schools will remain closed until the security situation improves. Government officials, struggling to organise adequate protection, have appealed to schools to extend their winter holidays until at least March. The future education of around 125,000 young women is uncertain as a result of the order, said to come into effect on January 15.


1st February

Update: 183 and Counting...

Pakistan taliban continue to destroy schools

Pakistan flagSuspected Taliban militants blew up another government-run school in Pakistan's violence-plagued Swat Valley, bringing to 183 the number of schools destroyed since fighting began in the area six months ago, officials said.

A day earlier, radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah threatened to kill more than four dozen government officials if they did not appear before him for opposing the Taliban.

Local newspapers on Monday printed the list of 50 government officials and tribal elders whom Fazlullah has threatened with death.

The boy's high school that was destroyed was located in Mingora, the valley's main city, said Sher Afzal Khan, an education officer for Swat.


4th February

Update: Taliban Throat Slitters...

Hints that the Pakistan taliban may lift ban on female education

Pakistan flagTehrik-e-Taliban Swat chief Maulana Fazlullah has said Islam recommends slitting the throat of a man if he is charged with espionage, adding that this is also the Sunnat (way) of Mohammed, and his companions acted upon this.

Fazlullah was replying to allegations that the Taliban slits throats of people and even digs up dead bodies of men from graves and then hangs them.

Talking to the BBC, Fazlullah said he has given permission for girls' education up to the fourth class, and hinted at lifting a ban on female education in the Swat Valley.

We will shape up a new strategy which will send a good message to the world, he said.


7th June

Update: A Lesson in Repression...

School bombing continues in Pakistan

Pakistan flagIslamic militants blew up a girls' school on the outskirts of Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Thursday as the military pressed on with an offensive against the Taliban, police said.

The school was heavily damaged in the attack. At least 40kg of explosives were used to blow up the school. Four rooms were completely destroyed and three were damaged.

There were no casualties as schools are closed for the summer, he said.

Police suspected the bombing was part of an intimidation campaign. Militants in the district of Swat, where the operation is concentrated, have destroyed scores of schools, mostly for girls, during a two-year campaign waged by radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah to enforce sharia law.

Militants destroyed 191 schools in the valley, including 122 girls' schools, leaving 62,000 pupils without classrooms, local officials have said.


30th June

Update: De-educating Pakistan...

Schools continue to fall to bombing attacks

Pakistan flagIslamic militants bombed a girls' primary school on the outskirts of Pakistan's Peshawar city, the latest in a series of such attacks blighting the northwest of the country, police said.

The school was badly damaged during the attack in Mattni village, local police official Abdul Ghafoor Afridi said.

Explosives were used to raze the building, although some of the structures were left standing, he added.

Three rooms and the outer wall of the government-run community model girls primary school was totally destroyed while the staff room was damaged, the police official said. There were no casualties as schools are closed for the summer in Peshawar

Militants have destroyed at least 191 schools in the valley, including 122 girls' schools, leaving 62,000 pupils without classrooms, local officials said.

Militants also blew up a girls' school in South Waziristan, a tribal region that falls outside direct government control and where a full-scale army offensive is expected against Pakistan's Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud.


18th July

Update: Taliban Training Schools...

Swat residents return to their home maybe to find nothing but religious schools

Pakistan flagAs refugees displaced by conflict in northwest Pakistan make their way home, they are afraid that their children will now depend on Islamic religious schools as their only option for education.

At least 270 schools, used by the Pakistani army as military posts, were destroyed in the crossfire and by bomb attacks in Malakand agency during the recent military offensive in North West Frontier Province.

More than two million displaced people have begun leaving refugee camps and other shelters in the Peshawar valley region of the province.

Now there is renewed fear that Islamic schools or 'madrassahs' will be the only system of education left to fill the vacuum which could lead to a new generation who could be trained for the Taliban.

Pakistan's largest spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, has produced a full dossier (photo) on this new phenomenon describing the connection and roles played by different religious education organisations in Pakistan and how they play a role for the networking of Jihadis.


5th November

Update: Uneducated...

School bombing continues in Pakistan

Pakistan flagIslamist militants blew up a girls school in Pakistan's lawless Khyber tribal district Sunday, destroying the building and wounding four people in neighbouring homes, officials said.

Two explosions ripped through the 18-room government high school for girls at Kari Gar village and a boy who watched the premises is missing, possibly kidnapped by the militants, local administration officials said.

The militants have blown up the school with two blasts and all rooms were demolished, said administration official Shafeer Ullah.

Four people in neighbouring houses were also wounded and their homes slightly damaged. We're still trying to find out what happened to the office boy, Ullah told AFP.

Nearly 200 schools were destroyed in the Swat valley alone during a two-year Taliban uprising to enforce sharia law in a district once favoured by Western tourists for its ski slopes and bracing mountain air....

Update: Teachers Murdered

6th November 2009. See article from , thanks to Alan

Two female schoolteachers were killed when the Taliban ambushed their car in Shandai Mor.

Shazia Begum and Shamim Bibi, teachers at the Communal Girls School, were travelling from the school when terrorists fired on the vehicle, killing the two and injuring two others. The injured, Liaqat and Nadir, were taken to the agency headquarters hospital. The political administration has cordoned off the area and arrested the driver of the vehicle in which the teachers were travelling.


27th December

Updated: A Lesson in How Nasty Religion Can Be...

School burning in Pakistan

Pakistan flagTaliban militants blew up a girls' school in Pakistan's Khyber district, officials said.

The pre-dawn school attack took place in Saddokhel town in northwest Khyber tribal district, where militants detonated explosives planted around the building, destroying all five school rooms but causing no injuries.

They are Taliban. They are the same people who do not want children to get an education, senior administration official Rahim Gul Khattak told AFP.

Islamist militants opposed to co-education have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in the northwest of the country in recent years as they wage a fierce insurgency to enforce Sharia law.

Update: 9th school in 6 weeks

27th December 2009. See article from

The Taliban blew up a girls' school in Pakistan's Khyber district, where troops are fighting against militants in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan, an official said.

Militants detonated explosives overnight at the government-run school in Bazgarah town, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Peshawar, capital of the violence-plagued North West Frontier Province.

The building had 21 rooms. All have been completely demolished, local administration chief Shafeerullah Wazir told AFP. There were no casualties because the property was empty at the time.

Taliban and their local allies are responsible. They are destroying educational institutions to avenge the military operation against their hideouts in the area, said Wazir.

This was the ninth educational institution blown up in Khyber over the past six weeks, he added.


2nd March

Update: And the Girls Can't Even Read About It...

16 schools attacked in Pakistan in February

pakistan school destroyed january 2009Taliban-linked militants have blown up a school in northwest Pakistan, bringing to 16 the number of such attacks in February 2010.

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-e-Islam, which has some links to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The latest government boys' high school to be attacked was blown up overnight in 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.

In North West Frontier Province, only 22% of women and girls older than 15 are literate.


29th September

Update: Floods Not Devastating Enough...

So Pakistan's Taliban bomb 5 more schools

damaged schoolPakistan's Taliban have blown up two more girls' schools in the Peshawar provincial capital amid a security operation against the terrorists in the bordering area of FR Peshawar, police and locals said.

The Taliban bombed five schools within a week, spreading terror in the school-going children and their parents.

Badha Bair Police Station Muharrir Mukamil Shah told Daily Times that the Taliban bombed Girls High School Sulman Khel and Girls Primary School Sulman at around 1am and both schools were situated alongside each other. He said six classrooms were destroyed in the girls' high school and four classrooms were destroyed in the primary school.

Schools have been consistently targeted by the Taliban's for the past five years and according to officials, the Taliban have bombed more than 1,000 schools, mostly in Swat.

Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) spokesman Adnan Khan said that the recently devastating floods damaged 900 schools in the province out of which 226 were totally destroyed and that the schools repair and reconstruction would cost Rs 5 billion.


1st April

Update: War Against Education...

Two more schools bombed in Pakistan

Pakistan flagPresumed islamic militants have destroyed two schools for girls in Pakistan's Khyber Agency, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

The attacks bring the number of schools bombed in the Khyber Agency to at least 38 since a bombing campaign against schools in the region started in 2009 following a government military operation against militant groups.

Administration officials said the two schools in the Sultankhel village in the Landi Kotal subdistrict of the tribal agency were destroyed by planted bombs. Hasham Khan Afridi, the official responsible for education in the Khyber Agency, said around 1,200 girls studied in the two schools. He said parents in many areas have stopped sending their children to school for fear of attacks on the buildings.

Most of the schools destroyed in the bomb attacks are for girls, hundreds of whom are unable to continue their education without the schools. Islamic militants, who believe women should not be educated, have so far destroyed more than 700 schools in the Swat, Buner, Dir, and Peshawar districts and the tribal agencies of Bajaur and Mohmand.


22nd October

 Update: Life Under the Taliban...

Pakistan's Taliban attempt to murder schoolgirl for opposing their extremist regime

Pakistan flagAn attack by Taliban gunmen in north-west Pakistan that seriously wounded a 14-year-old who campaigned for girls' rights has caused an outcry in the country. Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head on her way home from school in Mingora, the main town in the Swat Valley.

Malala Yousafzai came to public attention in 2009 by writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life under Taliban militants who had taken control of the valley.

A Pakistani Taliban spokesman told the BBC they carried out the attack. Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu that they attacked her because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared.

Almost immediately afterwards, the attack was condemned by politicians and media personalities. The president and prime minister have led condemnation of the attack. The head of Pakistan's Independent Human Rights Commission, Zohra Yusuf, said this tragic attack on this courageous child sends a very disturbing message to all those working for women and girls.

In a statement about the attack, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said:

We have to fight the mindset that is involved in this. We have to condemn it... Malala is like my daughter, and yours too. If that mindset prevails, then whose daughter would be safe?


16th November

 Update: An Education about Religion...

Continuing bombing of schools in Pakistan

Pakistan flagPakistani militants destroyed two more government-run schools late November 7 in Mohmand Agency, officials said.

Agency Education Officer Said Muhammad told Central Asia Online that the government boys' school in the Garahi area of Pandyali Tehsil and a government school in the Yasin Kor area in Shah Baig, Haleemzai Tehsil, were severely damaged in the attacks.

The militants planted home-made explosive devices at the schools. The damage at both was so severe that the educational activities cannot be carried out, he said.

Miscreants have destroyed or damaged more than 111 schools during the past three to four years, he said.


30th January

 Update: Uneducated Censorship...

Pakistan's Peshawar province bans the book launch of Malala Yousafzai's memoir
Am Malala Stood Education Taliban An event in north-west Pakistan to launch Malala Yousafzai's memoir was cancelled after pressure from Peshawar local officials, organisers say.

Dr Khadim Hussain of the Bacha Khan Education Trust told BBC Urdu that the ban was direct intervention by the provincial government .

Malala Yousafzai was 14 years old when she was shot in the head by muslim extremists of the Taliban in the north-western Swat valley in October 2012 because of her campaign to promote girls' education.

She and her family now live in the British city of Birmingham where she has been receiving treatment. She was not expected to attend the launch.

Malala has described the memoir, I am Malala, as her own story - and that of millions of others denied the chance to go to school.