PESHAWAR: A primary school for girls was blown up in Kalam late Friday night, the first such instance after Operation Rah-e-Raast concluded in the Swat Valley more than a year ago.
Sources said that the school was blown up by unidentified people who set dynamite on the outer walls. The school’s building and three rooms were badly damaged but there was no loss of life. “A huge explosion was heard in the silence of the night and petrified the residents of the area,” Umar-ul-Islam Sadiqui, a resident of Kalam, told The Express Tribune. “Later, we learnt that a girls school was targeted.”
The army operation in Swat was launched in May 2009 and concluded a month later. But even before the army started battling militants in the region, Kalam was considered a militant-free zone. Lashkars that fought militants trying to enter the area were set up on a local level.
In this peaceful area, this attack may have unwelcome repercussions, residents feel. “Such an incident could incite trouble in our village,” said a resident on condition of anonymity.
But the army has quelled such notions. “These are scattered militants fighting for survival. The residents need not be scared as these people will be brought to justice very soon,” Major Mushtaq, a spokesperson for the Inter-Services Press Relations in Swat, said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2010.