On 12 November 2008, men on motorcycles with water pistols shot acid at several female teachers and students who were exiting a girls’ school in Kandahar, Afghanistan. As a result, several of the teachers and students were disfigured, and two students are now blind. The Afghani authorities blamed the Taleban for the incident and had arrested ten suspects as of 25 November 2008.
Despite these government efforts to identify and arrest the attackers, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) reported in a recent article that the local population is still traumatized. The Mirwais Meena girls’ school had 1300 students before the incident, but is now down to about 30 students. The rest of the girls remain at home out of fear for their safety if they were to return. Only three female teachers have returned to the school. The school principal, along with several students’ parents and community members, believe more students will feel safe enough to return to school if they have transportation between their communities and the school. So far, their plea that the provincial government supply buses for the students has gone unanswered.
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For more IWPR news on Afghanistan, please click here.
For the first What’s New article on this acid attack, including links to international media coverage of the incident, please click here.
Compiled from: Mohammad Ilyas Dayee for Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), Afghan Recovery Report: Kandahar Schools Empty After Acid Attack on Girls (ARR No. 307) (12 December 2008).