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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 20:40 GMT
Bomb fears close Pakistan schools
Map showing Pakistan
Several schools in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) say they have closed for two days amid rumours of bomb threats.

Security personnel have been posted around the schools, but the provincial government says there is no threat.

One school, in the city of Mardan, was reportedly warned that if teachers and female students did not start wearing veils and burkas it would be attacked.

In the provincial capital, Peshawar, four more schools were closed.

Asif Iqbal, a NWFP government spokesman, told the BBC that most of the school closures appeared to have been triggered by fear.

"What actually happened is that after an incident [a threat] concerning a school in Mardan, which got reported in the press, rumours started elsewhere in the province," he said.

"The management of different private schools - these are all private schools - have started closing their schools for the time being basically because of fear.

"Yet we have no firm evidence that these particular schools have received any threats or phone calls."

Correspondents say that parts of NWFP are tense after militants threatened to take revenge for recent army operations in the autonomous tribal areas.

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