British Schools Sever Ties with ‘Bin Laden Town’

Posted June 29th, 2011 at 4:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A group of British schools in the northwestern English town of Blackburn has decided to sever ties with teachers and students in the northern Pakistani city of Abbottabad, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was killed May 2.

Local authorities said Wednesday the schools cancelled a planned visit by teachers from Abbottabad shortly after the al-Qaida chief was killed, fearing bad publicity.

The Pakistani side called the decision “regrettable” and said Abbottabad residents and students had nothing to do with bin Laden or his activities.

The director of education in Blackburn, Harry Davenport, said the government's international cultural relations body — the British Council — oversaw the partnership under its Connecting Classrooms program. He said the funding for the program was supposed to end “around this time” and that the Blackburn schools decided to wind down the initiative a little earlier.

The Connecting Classrooms program is designed to link British schools with others around the world to develop greater understanding and trust among young people.