‘Warring sides sometimes use schools as bastions’
KABUL (Pajhwok): Education Minister Assadullah Hanif Balkhi on Tuesday said security forces and insurgents sometimes used schools across the country as their bastions and urged the two sides to stop harming the education process.
Balkhi told a press conference here that he had many times told the security forces not to turn schools into battlefields and stop such activities.
“When the two sides engage in fighting, they sometimes take positions in schools and as a result, the schools get devastated and students stop attending classes,” he said.
He hoped the military and insurgents would avoid causing harm to schools and children.
Balkhi said currently 500 to 600 schools remained closed in southern, southeastern and southwestern border provinces due to insecurity.
He said the Ministry of Interior had directed the police not to use schools as bastions even if there were vacations.
However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the fighters did not use schools as their bastions and no one could prove it.
“We know how important schools are, we don’t want to deliberately pose threats to children, and we very seriously keep ourselves away from such areas.”
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