Pakistani Taliban Vow to Blow Up Girls' Schools

Extremists also ban polio vaccines; order women to cover up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2008 4:30 AM CST
Pakistani girls from the Bajur tribal region listen to a lesson in a school supported by UNICEF at the Katcha Garhi camp in Peshawar, Pakistan.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – Taliban militants in Pakistan's Swat region have threatened to blow up schools and kill schoolgirls if female education isn't halted by next month, reports the Times of London. The extremists have already destroyed 125 schools for girls in the region this year. Women have been warned not to set foot outside their homes without being fully covered.

"Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity," said a militant leader. At least half the area's girls have already stopped attending school because of the threats. The extremists have also prohibited polio vaccines, claiming they cause sexual impotence. The group controls a large area of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and has ruthlessly imposed its unyielding interpretation of Islamic law. Hundreds of government soldiers have been killed in efforts to dislodge them.