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3 weeks after Taliban attack, Peshawar schools reopen today with enhanced security

Jan 12, 2015 08:32 AM IST India India

Peshawar: Nearly three weeks after the massacre at an army-run school in Peshawar, students and teachers are returning to the school, on Monday, where 148 people, mostly children were killed last month in a horrific terror attack by Taliban.

Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government decided to reopen schools in the province with enhanced security. Provincial minister for information Mushtaq Ghani said that the government has evolved a well-coordinated and comprehensive security plan for the safety of schools.

The government had ordered the schools to remain closed after the brazen Taliban attack on Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 152 people, including 133 school children on December 16, 2014.

The students had extended winter vacations, citing security threats to the schools in the province.

Under the plan, community policing by those who have their children in the school have been proposed. Local retired employees would be inducted as guards in government schools.

No unauthorised person would be allowed to enter the school campus during school hours and those considered to be vulnerable would be manned by security guards.

All private schools would be required to keep two security guards, besides two more in each school bus and van.

The plan proposes to increase the height of the boundary of schools up to 12 feet, covered by barbed wires and CCTV cameras. The government would provide arms to every guard at school.

Private schools with inadequate security arrangements would, however, would not reopen from January 12.

The registration of schools not adhering to government's security measures would be cancelled.

The information minister said the provincial government has started implementing the plan to restart peaceful educational activities in the province.

Ghani said unsecured and sensitive areas were being identified to overcome the security weaknesses there. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah in a recent statement has warned of more attacks on army-run schools in Pakistan.

(With additional information from PTI)