PESHAWAR, Dec 26: At least 20 schools, most of them for girls, have been blown up in different areas of the provincial metropolis in the year 2010.

Though government claims to have taken steps for protecting educational institutions, yet it has failed to prove the claim. Besides destruction of schools, a school bus was also attacked allegedly by militants.

No doubt, the number of subversive activities in urban areas has decreased as compared to the previous year but it seems that militants have focused on destruction of educational institutions.

A group of Taliban has claimed responsibility for attacks on schools and warned that they will continue to destroy educational institutions.

The Government Girls High School Badbher, which was destroyed in 2008, was perhaps the first casualty followed by blowing up of other schools in suburban villages of Peshawar.

Later some private schools at Warsak Road were also attacked and buses were put on fire.

Police claimed many times to have arrested gangsters involved in attacks on schools but militants continued to attacks schools. In the past, people thought that militants were blowing up only government schools but the recent attacks showed that they were against all schools.

The blowing up of Rauza-tul-Atfaal School at Charkhakhel Road near Gulberg in September this year, blowing up of Mohsin Public School at Matha in October and attack on a bus of Islamia Model School on Charkhana Road on Dec 13 prove that private institutions are also under attack.

Following the incidents, government had directed owners of the private schools to arrange private security guards for their institutions.

The first incident of targeting an educational institution in Peshawar was witnessed when Police Pubic School was attacked on April 19 last year. Two persons including a student were killed in the incident.

Attacks on schools in other parts of the province were started about three years ago, but the schools in Peshawar were targeted during the current year with no concrete government strategy to secure them.

In the beginning of 2010, three government-run primary schools were blown up at Sufaid Dheri and Miskinabad Bacha Ghari Regi on the night of April 8.

The latest victim of militancy is Model Collegiate School at Palosai where two students and a teacher were injured in a blast on Dec 24.

The Government Girls High School at Landi Arbab has been attacked thrice but it is still vulnerable and no steps have been taken for its protection. About 600 students are enrolled in the school. The latest attack on the school was made on Sept 6.

A primary school for girls at Sulemankhel and high school for girls at Nawazabad Sulemankhel were blown up on Sept 22, another school for girls in the area was destroyed on Sept 28, two schools at Mashokhel and Shaikhan were blown up on Oct 8, a primary school for boys at Balarzai was destroyed on Oct 16.

A primary school for boys was blown up at Jugyan Tarnab Farm on Dec 6. During the past three months about four schools were blown up in different parts of Adezai and Matani.

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