Afghan Taliban Closes Dozens of Schools

Posted April 27th, 2012 at 2:40 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A leading U.S. newspaper says the Taliban has closed or partially closed about 50 schools in southeastern Afghanistan.

The Washington Post reports the closings this week are in retaliation for an Afghan government decision banning motorcycles in the southern districts of Ghazni province where the vehicles have been used to carry out attacks on civilians and local authorities.

Ghazni's governor told the Washington Post the motorcycles were banned because people were being assassinated by assailants riding motorcycles.

The newspaper says the ban, supported by the U.S. and its allies, has increased friction between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

The Post reports Afghan officials say about half of the 36,000 students who attend schools in southern Ghazni failed to show up for classes this week.

The newspaper reports education officials in Kabul “worry” that they have “little leverage” to reopen Ghazni's schools until the provincial government lifts the motorcycle ban. However, discarding the ban, the Post says, would be seen by many as a victory for the Taliban — a concession that Afghan and U.S. officials are unlikely to accept.

The Washington Post reports Afghan officials say they are “not optimistic” about a quick resolution.