Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 16:04 UK

Pakistan girls' school burnt down

Map Swat

Militants in north-western Pakistan have destroyed a girls' primary school in the second attack of its kind since Sunday, officials say.

The wooden building was burned to the ground during an overnight raid in the Sherpalam area of Swat district. No group has claimed responsibility.

Another girls school had petrol bombs thrown at it on Sunday.

Attacks in the region have increased in recent days after militants suspended peace talks with the government.


The school in Sherpalam was completely destroyed in the arson attack, the Associated Press of Pakistan said.

It added that there had also been firing between security forces and militants. No casualties were reported.

On Sunday a high school for girls in the Charbagh area was largely destroyed when suspected pro-Taleban militants threw petrol bombs at the building.

Pro-Taleban militants said last week they were halting peace talks with the government because the authorities were refusing to pull troops out of tribal areas near the Afghan border.

In the past 48 hours there have been several attacks in the north-west, including a shooting outside a bank in Swat Valley which left two policemen dead.

Another in the town of Bannu in North-West Frontier Province saw a suicide bomber kill himself and at least three others.

Swat was a prominent destination for tourists until a Taleban-style insurgency last year.

Pakistan's new government has said it will deal with Islamic militancy through dialogue and development.

US officials and Nato say previous attempts to reach accords with militants have created "safe havens" for the Taleban and al-Qaeda to launch attacks across the border in Afghanistan.

Pakistan also saw militants attacks soar within its own borders during 2007.

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