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Twelve schools attacked overnight in Diamer District


News Analysis |

In what seems to be acts of vandalism and arson a dozen schools half of which are girl’s schools have been attacked on Thursday night, in the North of Gilgit-Baltistan areas. Search ops have been initiated by regional Police and civil authorities in Diamer and Chilas areas to trace out what seemed to be coordinated assault on educational institutes.In the Friday morning news, Geo TV reported that the schools were assaulted by unidentified assailants.

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According to the police report, at least two of the school buildings were attacked by explosives, most were burnt down and some others were also vandalized from the inside. Superintendent Police (SP) Diamer Roy Ajmal mentioned to media sources that the schools were burnt down overnight. He mentioned that some schools had been ransacked with books and furniture being thrown outside and burnt.

So far no one has claimed responsibility for the despicable act and an investigation is already underway. Local residents and journalists reported to have heard explosions in vicinity of Girls Primary School Ronay and Girls School Takya but police received no such civilian reports or information regarding the overnight blasts.

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In Chilas, the Diamer Youth Movement has organized a protest at the district headquarters, condemning the targeting of educational institutes in the area. There is a precedent of sorts for this kind of attack in Diamer, since girls’ schoolswere specifically targetedby alleged extremists in 2004 and 2011.

Although Gilgit-Baltistan boasts a surprisingly high level of literacy and quality of education, the northern district of Diamerhas the lowest literacy rates for boys and girls in this Northern Region of Pakistan. In terms of quality of education, AlifAilaan’s Pakistan District Education Rankings 2017 placed Gilgit-Baltistanat 63.18 landing it at fourth place among eight Pakistani territories. Notably GB is ranked above Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Balochistan and even Sindh in those rankings.