Taliban increase acid attacks against female school students

Acid attack victim 
By: Hydar Tomar 

The Taliban stepped up acid attacks against female school students, according to police.

It's the latest cruel tactic by the Pakistani Taliban to stop girls and women from getting an education. The acid thrown in their face scars these women for life and deters others from following in their footsteps.

The doctor who treated the victims of an acid attack on a university van in Parachinar city in northern Pakistan last month, said that two girls were left with severe burns on their face.

The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack in threatening leaflets distributed throughout the city. They also warn local girls to stop going to school, Dr. Ali Shaban said.

"We will never allow girls in this area to go and get a Western education," Qari Muhavia, the local leader of the Pakistani Taliban said.

"As long as we find a girl of Parachinar getting a college education we will attack her in the same manner, so she will not be able to uncover her face in front of others," Muhavia said.

The violent campaign by the Pakistani Taiban to stop girls from receiving an education was brought to international attention early last month, when gunmen attacked another van, carrying schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, an education activist. She is in a British hospital recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Shahab Uddin, a local government official in Kurram Agency in the tribal belt of northern Pakistan, said that the acid attacks is the latest method used to terrorize and dissuade girls from going to school.

Fifteen students, boys and girls, from Kohat University were on their way home to Parachinar when unidentified extremists stopped their vehicle and threw acid at girls and shot one of the boys, according to Uddin.

Two girls, Zahida and Nabila, and an older child, had suffered burns, Uddin said, while Mohammad Ali, a fourth child, was shot.

"After throwing acid on the students the assailants opened fire on the van," Uddin said.

He said that the girls are alive and out of danger, but their faces will be scarred forever.

The district headquarters of the hospital confirmed that four students were taken to the emergency room for treatment, three with acid burns and another with a gunshot wound.