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Security officials dismiss allegations over using schools as trenches

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AT News Report-KABUL: Security officials rejected the allegations that army and police were using schools as trenches.

Ministry of Education had earlier alleged that 67 schools in the insecure areas were used as trenches, accusing military and police of using some of them.

Ministry of Interior said in response that this is not army and police, but the armed opposition groups using schools as strongholds.

“Neither the army nor police are using schools and mosques as trenches at all. And we reject the reports in this regard,” deputy interior ministry spokesman, Nosrat Rahimi said Tuesday.

He added that the military and police were ordered to be cautious in attacking militants who are hiding at the schools, so the buildings be not damaged.

But, Kabir Haqmal, head of publication department in the ministry of education said that they were concerned about the use of school buildings by the Afghan military. He has also said that some school buildings were torched by the opposition armed groups, adding that students could not go to classes.

Insecurity, poverty, shortage in female teachers and closure of about 1,000 schools in the insecure areas have prevented 3.5 million students of attending classes, from which, 75 per cent of girls, according to the ministry of education.

Defense Ministry Spokesman, Mohammad Radmanesh also rejected reports of using schools by the military.

Taliban did not comment on the reports.

Meanwhile, the parliament says that education should be far from what it calls “political games”, with Khalilullah Sahidzada, head of education commission in the parliament asking both the government forces and the militants not to use education as a tool to reach their goals.

“We and the people always want the education sector be away from political and military games because they harm our innocent children. But unfortunately, the undefined war does not have mercy to schools, mosques and public institutions,” Shahidzada said.

He said using schools as trench only harms education that cuts the development artery.