Attacks against Afghan schools soar, says UNICEF



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.

"Education is under fire in Afghanistan," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.

"The senseless attacks on schools; the killing, injury and abduction of teachers; and the threats against education are destroying the hopes and dreams of an entire generation of children."

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.

According to the United Nations, 3,804 civilians -- including more than 900 children-- were killed in Afghanistan in 2018, with another 7,189 wounded.

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