…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
Militants detonated explosives inside two empty girls’ schools in northwestern Pakistan overnight, resulting in the destruction of nine classrooms.
However, officials have confirmed that there were no casualties.
The attacks, which occurred on Sunday night, took place in the Hassu Khel and Gul Mosaki areas of North Waziristan, located approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) from the Afghanistan border.
Girls’ Education Remains a Target for Militant Groups
The issue of girls’ education has long been contentious for regional militants, including the Pakistan Taliban.
This extremist group gained notoriety for targeting Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in 2012 for advocating for schooling.
The recent twin attacks on girls’ schools once again highlight the challenges faced by girls in accessing education.
Investigation Launched to Identify the Culprits
Rehan Gul Khattak, a senior local administration official, confirmed that militants had planted improvised explosive devices in the government middle schools for girls, which exploded late at night.
Six classrooms in Hassu Khel and three in Gul Mosaki were destroyed as a result.
While it is believed that militants were behind the attacks, the specific group responsible has yet to be determined.
District police officer Salim Riaz stated that a thorough investigation has been initiated.
North Waziristan’s History of Militancy
North Waziristan has a history of being a hub for militant activities and has been the target of previous military offensives and drone strikes.
Particularly during the post-9/11 occupation of Afghanistan, the region experienced significant unrest.
Surge in Militancy following Taliban’s Return to Power in Afghanistan
Since the Taliban regained control in Kabul in 2021, Pakistan has witnessed a surge in militant activities, primarily concentrated in border regions.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistan Taliban, remains one of the most active extremist groups in the area.
Formed in 2007 by Pakistani militants who broke away from the Afghan Taliban, the TTP has been focused on Islamabad due to its support for the U.S. invasion.
A Struggle for Girls’ Education and Ongoing Security Concerns
The TTP previously held significant influence over parts of northwest Pakistan until they were expelled by the military in 2014.
This was the same year when Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy.
However, the recent attacks on girls’ schools demonstrate that the fight for girls’ education and overall security in the region is far from over.
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