KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, AP – Suspected Taliban gunmen burned down a primary school in Afghanistan’s main southern city Sunday, the latest in a spate of attacks against teachers and institutions that educate girls.
No one was hurt in the pre-dawn attacks against the Qabail Primary School in Kandahar, said Hayabullah Rafiqi Othak, Kandahar province’s education director.
A group of men tied up two security guards and made bonfires of books and wooden desks that eventually razed the whole building, he said. The school, which was on a two-month vacation, taught some 700 boys and girls.
Dozens of schools have been burned since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001 for sheltering Osama bin Laden. Most of the attacks have come at night and have caused no deaths.
On Tuesday, however, suspected rebels beheaded the headmaster of another coed school in the region.
The Taliban maintains that educating girls is against Islam and also opposes government-funded schools for boys because they teach subjects besides religion.
Othak said reconstruction of the Qabail school would start immediately and some classes could resume when vacation ends in March.
The attack came hours guards scared away arsonists who tried to set fire to another school in Kandahar, he said.
Five suspects were arrested in the attempted attack, said deputy provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Hungar.