Defiant acid attack schoolgirl vows to continue her education
AN Afghan teenager whose face was burned in an acid attack by suspected religious extremists vowed from her hospital bed to continue going to school even if it put her life in danger.
Men on motorbikes used a water pistol to spray acid into the faces of Shamsia Bibi, 17, and her sisterÂ Atifa, 14, as they arrived at school wearing burqas in the southern city of Kandahar last Wednesday. Their veils were pulled off prior to the attack. Around a dozen other girls were also sprayed with acid but escaped serious harm.
According to this report, Shamsia was the most badly injured, and had some acid enter her eyes. She was transferred to a military hospital in Kabul where she was visited at the weekend by other schoolgirls, accompanied by media.
She told reporters:
I will go to my school even if they kill me. My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.
It is not clear who carried out the attack which President Hamid Karzai and other officials blamed on the “enemies of Afghanistan” – a broad term that most often refers to Taliban insurgents.
However a Taliban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, told AFP by telephone his group would “never do such a cowardly thing against girls and children”.
This year around 115 schools have been set on fire, bombed or bulldozed in attacks education ministry spokesman Hamed Elmi blamed on “the opposition”.
About 120 people in the education sector have been killed in attacks, he told AFP.
Meanwhile, an Afghan religious leader was killed by alleged Taliban days after preaching against suicide and other bombings, officials said Saturday, in an attack condemned by President Hamid Karzai.
The head of the religious council for Anar Dara district in the western province of Farah was found dead on Friday, days after he had been kidnapped, an official in the governor’s office said.
UPDATE: Nov 26. The Independent reports that those believed reponsible for the attack have been arrested, and face the death sentence for their crime.