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TTP threatens to destroy schools

February 12, 2009

KHAR, Feb 11: The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan threatened on Wednesday to destroy all educational institutions in Bajaur if the government did not withdraw security forces stationed in government schools in the region within three days.

Talking to reporters on phone, TTP spokesman Maulvi Omar said security forces had set up checkposts and bunkers in almost all government schools to attack Taliban positions.

He said the government had forced the Taliban leadership to act like the Swat Taliban and attack educational institutions in Bajaur. “Not a single school building will be spared after three days,”

he added.

In reply to a question, he said that talks with Swat Taliban were going on and the ‘ban’ on girls’ education would be lifted soon.

The TTP spokesman also threatened to target government installations and said Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur Agency, would be turned into a battlefield if the military operation continued. He said attacks on security forces would be intensified, even in Khar.

Maulvi Omar said that attacks on schools in other tribal regions would also be launched if the military operation was not stopped.

He said preparations had been completed and the Taliban fighters were waiting for a signal from the TTP leadership.

Meanwhile, security forces backed by planes and helicopter gunships pounded militants’ hideouts in different areas of Khar and Mamond on Wednesday.

Five militants, a security man and a woman were killed as clashes and shelling continued in Inayet Kali, Bhai Cheena and Omari villages.

A woman was killed and a girl was injured when suspected militants fired rockets and missiles on Khar. Some of the rockets and missiles hit residential areas.

Security forces advanced in Mamond area after taking control of Inayet Kali. The curfew was relaxed in Khar and adjoining areas between 8 am and 4 pm.