Militants blow up Pak school, clinic | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, October 30, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, October 30, 2009

Militants blow up Pak school, clinic

24 more killed in fighting

Militants blew up a high school and a clinic in restive northwest Pakistan yesterday in the latest spike of violence that has left more than 300 people dead this month, officials said.
A 12-room state-run high school for boys and a clinic in Shahukhel village were turned to rubble by explosives planted by militants, chief of Hangu district administration, Gul Wali Khan, told AFP.
There were no casualties because the buildings were empty, he said. Up to 80 kilograms (176 pounds) of explosives were used, he added.
Militants have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) over the past few years.
Nearly 200 schools were destroyed in the Swat valley alone during a two-year violent campaign by radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah to enforce Sharia law.
Following up a similar offensive in Swat this summer, Pakistan is pressing a major ground and air operation designed to crush Taliban sanctuaries in the lawless South Waziristan region, which borders Afghanistan.
Authorities last week shut schools across Pakistan following a suicide attack on a university campus in Islamabad. Although most schools reopened on Monday, several private schools have remained closed this week.
Pakistan's military says it has killed two dozen militants over the past day and is closing in on a prominent guerrilla stronghold in the mountains of South Waziristan.
A Friday statement from the military also says that two Pakistani soldiers were killed during a militant mortar attack and three more were wounded in a bombing.
It says government forces now dominate the hills above the village of Sararogha, where Taliban leaders long have operated openly.
In mid-October, the Pakistani military launched a ground offensive in the tribally controlled region, where the Pakistani Taliban are based and are believed to shelter al-Qaida fighters.
Access to South Waziristan is restricted, so independently verifying death tolls from fighting is all but impossible.
Meanwhile, the death toll from one of Pakistan's worst bomb attacks rose to 118 on Friday as more bodies were plucked from the debris of a devastated market in Peshawar, officials said.
Local administration chief Sahibzada Anis put the death toll at 118. It includes 31 women and 24 children, Anis said, adding that seven more bodies had been recovered from the debris since late Thursday.
City police chief Liaquat Ali confirmed the toll, saying the body of a child was retrieved from the rubble in the Meena market on Friday and six other bodies late Thursday.
Doctor Zafar Iqbal, registrar of the city's main Lady Reading Hospital, told AFP that six people who were critically wounded in Wednesday's attack had died.
"There are still 121 people receiving treatment in the hospital and 25 of them are in serious condition," he added.

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