Taliban insurgents are suspected of bombing a coeducational primary school last Tuesday in Peshawar, Pakistan. The bombing destroyed the small three room school building, but no casualties were reported because the school was closed at the time of the attack for Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan.
Hamzullah Khan, a local police official, told the the AFP that “the nature of the blast shows that Taliban are behind the incident.” According to The Nation, approximately 200 schools have been destroyed by radical militants in the past few years in the Swat Valley, which borders Peshawar.
In Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, violence against schools that educate girls has been part of Taliban campaigns that oppose the education of women. A girls’ school was bombed in northern Pakistan earlier this year and last December the Taliban announced an education ban on women and girls in the Swat Valley. The bans were later lifted. During the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which lasted until 2001, Afghan girls were forbidden to attend school. To date, approximately 1,000 girls’ or co-educational schools have been bombed or burned in Afghanistan.