Eighth Attack on Girls’ School in Afghanistan

A school for girls in Kandahar, Afghanistan, was recently hit by an explosion that injured one teacher, the Associated Press reports. This most recent bombing marks the eighth in a series of known attacks against schools for girls in Afghanistan. Hand-written pamphlets were distributed in Kandahar, the former Taliban stronghold, in April warning of violence to come if women took on jobs or attended school. Kandahar was the site of the recent attempted assassination of Afghan President Hamid Karzai that wounded the governor of Kandahar.

In recent weeks, seven schools have been targets of violence, including a school in the Wardak province that was forced to close by a group of gunmen earlier this week. In addition, two schools in the northern provinces were burned to the ground and three in the southeastern province of Zabul. Another school was bombed in Ghazni province last month, according to Reuters.

Despite the continued violence in Afghanistan, the State Department last month issued a report questioning the expansion of peacekeeping troops outside of Kabul. Afghan women have indicated that security is their top priority. Threats to Loya Jirga delegates who have spoken out for human rights, including Minister of Women’s Affairs Dr. Sima Samar; the assassination of two government ministers; violence against women in the Northern provinces; violence against humanitarian aid workers; and the continued use of tactics of intimidation against the return of girls to school show the need for expansion of peace keeping forces both within and beyond Kabul is desperate.

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Associated Press 10/17/02; Reuters 10/14/02; Feminist Daily News Wire

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