UN condemns Pakistan school attacks

Wed, 21 Jan 2009 08:17:04 GMT

A UN special representative condemns the increasing attacks on schools in northwestern Pakistan by Taliban and other armed groups.

In a statement issued in New York, Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UN secretary general’s special representative for children and armed conflict, said that she was particularly appalled by recent incidents, including the blowing up of five schools in northwestern Pakistan in Swat Valley.

She also expressed concern over the increase in the number of child victims of the attacks on schools by the Taliban, who deny children the right to education, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The throwing of acid to prevent female children and teachers from going to school is deplorable, she stressed.

So far, more than 170 schools have been destroyed by Taliban-related militants who had set January 15 as the deadline for a ban on girls’ enrolment in Pakistan’s Swat Valley schools.

Some 1,600 government-run schools, educating a quarter-million students, have announced that they would remain closed after the winter vacation until the end of February.

Due to threats from militants, nearly 400 private schools have also announced that they would not enroll girls to comply with the Taliban edict banning female education.