Militants bomb schools in Pakistan tribal areas

Up to 200 schools bombed in Pakistan in two years


Militants blew up two boys' schools and a college in Bajaur tribal area in northwest Pakistan, an official said Friday, as an offensive against the Taliban rumbled on in nearby districts.

"Several locally-made bombs planted inside the school buildings went off late in the night," local government official Adalat Khan told AFP, adding that both schools were "completely demolished."

"They also bombed a boys' degree college in Mamond town."

Gul Rehman, a Bajaur education officer, said 44 schools had been bombed or set on fire in the past year in the district troubled by Taliban attacks.

Elsewhere in Bajaur on Friday, a roadside bomb exploded and wounded a tribal policeman while he was on patrol, an official said.

Bajaur lies just to the west of Dir and Swat districts, where the military is locked in a nearly two-month-long offensive against Taliban insurgents.

Militants in Swat have destroyed nearly 200 schools, mostly for girls, in the valley during a two-year campaign to enforce sharia, Islamic law.

The army said it is also poised to launch a fresh assault into the tribal areas along the Afghan border to track down the senior Taliban leadership.