KABUL AFP May28, 2019
The number of attacks on schools in Afghanistan nearly tripled last year, UNICEF said Tuesday, cutting children’s access to education amid worsening security in the war-torn nation.
Attacks on Afghan schools increased from 68 in 2017 to 192 in 2018, the first increase in such incidents since 2015.
Afghanistan’s ongoing war, now in its 18th year, resulted in more than 1,000 schools being closed by the end 2018, UNICEF said, depriving some 500,000 children of their right to learning.
About 3.7 million school children between the ages of seven and 17 -- accounting for almost half of all school-aged children in Afghanistan -- do not attend school, according to the UN agency.
It blamed insecurity, poverty and discrimination against girls -- who make up about 60 percent of children not in education.
The Taliban opposed education for girls when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
Last month, gunmen blew up a girls’ school in western Farah province. The incident followed the killing of a school teacher in northern Faryab province earlier this month.