Nangarhar: Armed Men Torch Girls’ School

TOLOnews, May 8, 2012

Armed men torched a girls’ school in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province on Monday night, the same day that ten other local schools were reopened after Taliban threats had forced them closed.

The primary girls’ school, which educates more than 1500 students, was set alight around 10:00pm in the Wziro area of Khogyani district, provincial spokesman for the Ministry of Education Mohammad Asif Shinwari told TOLOnews.

Shinwari said the students remained at home Tuesday out of fear after the incident.

No group, including the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Khogyani district had just reopened ten schools on Monday which were closed for a few days because of militant threats.

The schools closed after local Taliban insurgents threatened harm in retaliation for the arrest of local school teacher and suspected insurgent.

Provincial spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai told TOLOnews that “the schools reopened on Monday after dozens tribal elders held a meeting”.

Abdulzai confirmed it was ten schools in the district that were affected by the threats, not six as previously reported.

Provincial council members Sunday had called for insurgents not to use schools for political ends.

“Schools are for learning, they’re not a political organ. We ask the militants not to close schools,” Nangarhar council member Zabiullah Zmrai said Sunday.

Khogyani is a remote district of eastern Nangarhar province which has had a more active insurgency in recent years.

The district has around 55 schools.