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Pakistan: Swat Girls' Schools to Reopen Despite Threat

Pakistan's Information Minister Sherry Rehman says the government intends to reopen girls' schools in the northwestern Swat Valley, despite a ban issued by the local Taliban.

Rehman told reporters in Karachi Sunday efforts will be made to ensure that classes resume on March 1, following the winter break.

A local Taliban leader, Shah Durran, announced the ban in December, telling families they must stop sending their daughters to school by January 15 or the girls will be killed.

In recent months, militants have blown up around 175 schools.

Taliban militants are trying to enforce their version of Islamic Sharia law in northwestern Pakistan.  When the Taliban movement controlled neighboring Afghanistan before 2001, girls were banned from attending school.

Earlier Sunday, the Pakistani military said 15 militants and one soldier were killed in a clash with Pakistani security forces in the Mohmand tribal region along the Afghan border.

Mohmand is just south of the Bajaur tribal region, where Pakistani forces have been involved in ongoing battles with Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants.

The Pakistani military says more than 1,500 militants have been killed in Bajaur over the past few months.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

 

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