Taliban-linked militants destroyed a newly built primary school for girls in Pakistan's troubled northwestern tribal region, officials said Saturday.

The school, located in the Tiarza area of South Waziristan, had yet to hold classes.

A security official said it was "badly damaged" in the nighttime blast, when no one was present in the building.

Taliban splinter Sajna group took responsibility for the attack and warned that more would take place.

Another security official said that the militants had also abducted 18 workers from the construction site of the school but they were later released.

The school was built as part of reconstruction efforts in the district, where infrastructure has been badly damaged due to recent military operations, said the official.

The Taliban are frequently involved in attacks on educational institutions. At least 21 people were killed last month when militants stormed a university in Charsadda town.

Elsewhere, at least five militants were killed Saturday in a clash with security forces in Mohmand, another tribal district, army said.

The army launched operations in the area after militants killed nine security personnel with the tribal police this week.

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