Taliban-linked militants in northern Pakistan are believed to be behind a series of arson and bombing attacks against schools that took place late Thursday and early Friday, according to a report from Reuters.
Although the Taliban has not officially claimed responsibility, local militant groups in the area with ties to the Taliban are opposed to the operation of girls schools in the region.
Raja Ajmal, a police chief in the Diamer district of northern Gilgit where the attacks took place told Reuters that these latest attacks were “well planned and coordinated.”
Most of the twelve schools damaged were girls schools. During the rampage, the attackers also tried to break into a Pakistani-military school but were turned away by security guards.
No casualties have been reported as a result of the attacks.
These attacks are just the latest in a series of violent acts against women’s education in the region. Malala Yousafzai, the 21-year-old Nobel Prize winner who was shot in the face by the Taliban in retaliation for her advocacy for women’s education, condemned the attacks via her social media accounts.
“The extremists have shown what frightens them most — a girl with a book,” Malala said via Twitter. “We must rebuild these schools immediately, get the students back into their classrooms and show the world that every girl and boy has the right to learn.”
These groups have also attacked “foreign tourists and minority Shi’ite Muslims” in the same part of Pakistan in the past.