Afghan Teacher Killed After Speech Condemning Homicide Bombings

A teacher was shot to death in northern Afghanistan after he gave a speech condemning homicide bombings, officials said Wednesday.

Abdul Hadi criticized such attacks as un-Islamic and un-Afghan during a speech Tuesday in the Archi district of Kunduz province, said Khair Mohammad Subat, the provincial education department director.

Hadi spoke at a gathering of about 700 people, including the Kunduz governor, and was on his way home when he was killed, Subat said.

Kunduz police chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said police were investigating. No arrests have been made.

In January, Education Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar said the number of students and teachers killed in Taliban attacks spiked in the past year in a campaign to close schools and force teenage boys to join the Islamic militia.

According to UNICEF, there were 236 school-related attacks last year.

In central Logar province, meanwhile, education department director Kamaluddin Zadran said three girls schools have been set ablaze in the past three weeks.

Girls were barred from schools under the Taliban regime. After the Taliban fell in 2001, girls were allowed to return to attend, but many conservative and uneducated Afghans still forbid their girls from going.

Arsonists regularly attack girls schools. Last year, gunmen killed two students walking outside a girls school in Logar.

Education Ministry statistics indicate only 35 percent of students enrolled are girls.