Girls School Attacked in Afghanistan

An Afghan girls school was attacked yesterday in the Logar province, the most recent in a series of attacks on girls’ education in Afghanistan. Armed men tied up two school guards and set the Padkhwai Raghani School building and two tents on fire. Local men are being questioned, but authorities do not yet know who is responsible for the attack, according to BBC.

Girls were prohibited from attending school under the Taliban and were permitted to return to school when the Taliban were ousted in 2001. However, over 40 girls schools have been bombed, set on fire, or violently attacked in Afghanistan since 2001, causing some families to keep their daughters at home out of fear. Currently, the resurgence of the Taliban, the continuing influence of extremist warlords, and lack of security are placing women and girls at extreme risk of violence and intimidation.

School Principal Zaher Din plans to resume classes on Saturday for the 665 girls aged seven to 15. One 12-year-old student, Farida, grieved, “Why did they only burn the girls school? Why not the boys’ school next door? The police must protect us. We want to be able to study,” reports The Times.

The continued intimidation of girls returning to school demonstrates the need for the expansion of peacekeeping and security forces in Afghanistan.

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BBC 6/23/05; The New York Times 6/23/05, The Feminist Daily News Wire 10/15/02, 10/17/02, 10/30/02, 9/29/03

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