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Two Schools Torched in Kurram Agency

by AFP
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File Photo. Kirill Kudryavtsev—AFP

File Photo. Kirill Kudryavtsev—AFP

Pakistan extends winter vacations to Jan. 12 in light of threats of more violence.

Militants set fire to two primary schools in Kurram Agency on Tuesday as authorities extended winter holidays amid threats of attacks, officials said.

The incident comes two weeks after the massacre of 150 people at an Army-run school in Peshawar, where 134 children were among the victims gunned down by heavily armed Taliban militants. Tuesday’s pre-dawn arson attacks took place in two villages in the Kurram tribal district, where Taliban insurgent activity and violence between Shia and Sunni Muslims are rife.

Amjad Ali Khan, the district’s top administrative official, said the attackers had doused furniture with petrol before setting it ablaze. All the wooden benches and desks along with school records were destroyed and buildings were damaged, Khan said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility but Khan blamed “militants” for the latest attacks.

Taliban and other militants opposed to girls’ education and secular schooling more generally have in the past bombed and torched hundreds of schools in northwest Pakistan. No one was hurt in Tuesday’s attack as schools are closed for winter vacations, which authorities have extended until Jan. 12 after the Peshawar massacre amid threats of more violence. Originally schools were due to reopen on Jan. 3.

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