Acid attacks to keep girls away from school

published on November 16, 2008

Victim of Afghan acid attack to stay in school

Kabul : A victim of an acid attack on schoolgirls in Afghanistan said today that she was determined to stay in school and finish her education even if that meant risking death.

The girl, who gave her name as just Shamsia, was the most seriously injured of a group of girls attacked outside their school by unidentified men in the southern city of Kandahar on Wednesday.

“I’ll continue my schooling even if they try to kill me. I won’t stop going to school,” Shamsia said from her bed at Afghanistan’s main military hospital in Kabul.

Shamsia, 17, suffered damage to one of her eyes when the men pulled off the girls’ head scarves and threw acid in their faces. She has been brought to hospital in the capital for treatment.

There were no claim of responsibility for the attack but it bore the hallmarks of the Taliban, who banned girls from school during their hardline rule from 1996 to 2001.

The insurgents have attacked and destroyed hundreds of schools across the country since they were forced from power in 2001, after the September 11 attacks on the US.

Shamsia, much of her face covered in a yellow ointment, said she had to finish her lessons to help the country. “I’ll continue going to lessons. I’m studying to be able to build our country,” she said.

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