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Extremists threaten to bomb girls school

TAXILA, Sept 19: Religious extremists have warned the administration of a girls school in Taxila that they would bomb its building if the teachers and students did not wear a veil and Burqa.

It has been learnt that the principal of a local government high school received a letter from an unidentified man who threatened to bomb the school if the girl students and teachers did not wear veils.

The unidentified man has warned that he should not be taken lightly and would carry out his threat if the school administration did not meet his demand.

After receiving the threat, the school administration immediately brought the matter into the notice of the police highups who put the girls school on high alert and deployed armed policemen at the gate of the school to avert any untoward incident. Security personnel in plainclothes have also been deployed at the school.

On a visit to the school, it was observed that some girls of the age of nine and 10 were wearing veils.

“Yes we have received a threatening letter from a religious fanatic and we are scared,” Ms Shakeela, acting principal of girls high school Taxila, told this reporter on Wednesday.

She said the school management did not keep the threat call a secret and took all students into confidence. We have told the students that nothing would happen if they wear a veil, she added.

Responding to a question, the acting principal said the morale of the students was high and the threat had not affected the daily attendance at the school. They feel secure as armed policemen have been deployed outside the school.

She said it was for the first time that they had received such a letter from anyone, however, no suspicious activity had been observed. But we have still adopted all precautionary measures to protect the lives of innocent students, she added.

“This letter could either be a hoax or work of a fanatic. Personally I believe that it is a hoax, but we cannot take it lightly,” Sub-Divisional Police Officer Taxila/Wah Cantonment circle Syed Akbar Abbas said while talking to this correspondent.

He said: “As soon as we were informed by the school management we not only deployed security men around this school, but also adopted precautionary measures around all girl schools in the area.

He said a police guard would be deployed at the entry gate during the school hours while security personnel in plain clothes would remain vigilant and monitor activities of any suspicious person.

Source: Dawn

Date:9/20/2007

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