12 Nov 2008

Afghan schoolgirls burned by acid in attack by men on motorcycle

CBC News - Canada November 12, 2008

Three Afghan girls in a group of eight walking to school in Kandahar city were seriously burned Wednesday when two men on a motorcycle threw acid on them.
Six of the group were taken to hospital. Three were treated and released. Two girls who were wearing full-length burkas were not harmed.
Some of the girls wore a typical Afghan school uniform — black pants, a white shirt, black coat and white head scarf.
Atifa Bibi, 14, said from her hospital bed that two men rode up to the girls and threw the acid while they were walking to school. Bibi had burns on her face, which was covered in medical cream.
"This is a sophisticated, dangerous and complicated land with some fascinating people, some of whom are not keen that we’re here," said Gen. Andrew Leslie, the head of Canada's land forces.
"The vast majority are delighted that we’re here trying to protect their citizens themselves, if you would, from the type of foe who would throw acid on young girls trying to get an education.
"Arguably, that is why we’re here. That's what Canadian soldiers do. We risk our lives to bring certain degree of peace and security when possible to those young schoolgirls."
Girls were banned from schools under the Taliban's hardline Islamist regime, which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi denied that the insurgents were involved.
With files from the Associated Press, Canadian Press

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