Taliban men blow up girls' school
Taliban militants yesterday freed all remaining Pakistani staff and students from an army-run boarding school who were snatched three days ago, drawing a line under the brazen mass abduction.
At least 42 students and two staff from a college in the tribal area of North Waziristan, where Washington says al-Qaeda are plotting attacks on the West, were released to tribal elders, officials and the Taliban said.
Masked gunmen had ambushed a convoy of about 30 vehicles carrying staff and students from Razmak in North Waziristan home at the start of the summer holidays, and busloads of people were abducted on Monday, officials said.
Earlier 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 in the Budaber area, about 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Peshawar, local police chief Abdul Ghafoor Afridi said.
At least 40 kilogrammes (88 pounds) of explosives were used to blow up the school, he said, adding that "four rooms were completely destroyed and three were damaged."
Another police official, Shakarullah Khan, said militants used a timed device to blow up the building.
There were no casualties as schools are closed for the summer, he said.
Pakistan said Tuesday that soldiers recovered 80 of the students and staff. The army initially said that everyone had been rescued, but school officials later said up to 45 students and two teachers were unaccounted for.