Deadly blast hits Pakistani school

Seven children among dead as explosives cache blows up in Punjab province.

Pakistan blast
The blast destroyed an Islamic school and more than one dozen homes in Punjab province [EPA]

The owner of the home has been accused of recruiting fighters to battle foreign troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, the Associated Press news agency cited Khan as saying.

Police have evidence that the home was a meeting point for fighters, he said.

The government has ordered an inquiry into the blast.

‘Unworthy target’

Imran Khan, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, said the location of the blast was very remote.

“The village is off the radar. It hasn’t been seen as a target worthy of an explosion of this size,” he said.

“The size of the crater suggests the number of explosives used was a massive amount. The only time we’ve seen craters of that size are in major urban centres.

“There is a theory developing that the village itself was not the target and that this could have been some sort of arms or munitions dump where an explosion happened quite by accident.”

The blast comes amid a major offensive by Pakistani troops to drive out Taliban fighters from their strongholds in tribal regions near the Afghan border.

While security forces say they have flushed out the anti-government fighters from the North West Frontier Province, an assault is currently under way in South Waziristan to capture Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban leader.

The Taliban has vowed to fight back and launch counter attacks.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies