PAN, October 16, 2011

2 girls’ schools set on fire in Nangarhar

In the second incident, another girls' school was burnt in the Barikab area

By Abdul Mueed Hashmi

Suspected militants stormed and burned a girl's school in Nangarhar
Photo: PAN

Suspected militants stormed two girls' schools in the Batikot district of eastern Nangarhar province, destroying one and partially damaging the other, officials said on Sunday.

The schools were set on fire in Chahardi and Barikab areas late on Saturday night, district chief, Israrullah Qarizada, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

Fazal Rabbi, a watchman at the Chahardi school, said more than 30 masked gunmen entered the building. "They threatened me with death while setting the school on fire," he added.

About 2,200 female students are studying at the school, according to teacher Hanifullah Sapi. A laboratory and all its equipment, a library, attendance registers and several rooms were burnt, he said.

In the second incident, another girls' school was burnt in the Barikab area. "Burning books and schools is against the injunctions of Islam and those doing this are the enemies of Islam and Afghans," said Rozi Khan Alakozay, a local resident.

The fire was extinguished by area residents. The school has 951 students.

Muhammad Asif Shinwari, the provincial education department spokesman, confirmed the arson attacks, saying they had sent a delegation to the areas for damage assessments.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied the Taliban were involved in the attacks.

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