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PAN, September 1, 2011

ISAF failed to rebuild school it destroyed, residents complain

The foreign forces immediately afterwards vowed to rebuild the school, but the school is still in devastated condition

By Habib Rahman Sherzai

Army engineers blow up a grape hut near a newly established U.S. base near Sia Choy, Kandahar province
Army engineers blow up a grape hut near a newly established U.S. base near Sia Choy, Kandahar province, Oct. 22, 2010. (Ben Gilbert/GlobalPost)

People in Pul-i-Khumri, a city in northern Baghlan province, say that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has not rebuilt a school it destroyed in an operation against the Taliban.

The school, located in the Ahmadzai village of the Dand-e-Ghori district of the city, was being used as a base for insurgents. It was destroyed almost eight months ago under heavy fire from ISAF.

The foreign forces immediately afterwards vowed to rebuild the school, but the school is still in devastated condition, residents said.

Lajwar Khan, a local elder in the Joy-e-Naw area, complained that the local students had been studying outside under the scorching sun ever since the school was bombed.

"We had built the school with government support at great effort, but the foreigners destroyed it," said Muhammad Akbar, the headmaster, who added that almost 1500 students including boys and girls had attended it.

All furniture, documents and stationary burned to ashes in the ISAF attack, he complained.

Sayed Mansor, director of the provincial education department, confirmed the current state of the school, saying: "Baghlan officials have several times asked foreign forces to rebuild the school." He said officials had received promises but still did not know when the school would be rebuilt.

The ISAF office in Kabul confirmed the school’s destruction in the attack, but said it would be renovated by ISAF soon after a construction contractor is awarded the project.

Other planning for the renovation has been completed, the source added without specifying when the school would be rebuilt.

Category: US-NATO - Views: 5703