Taliban beheads headmaster in Afghanistan

Last Updated: Sun, Jun 27, 2010 13:44 hrs

Kabul: Suspected Taliban militants beheaded a headmaster and torched two schools in southern Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

Sakandar Shah Mohammadi, head of Al Berooni School in Qara Bagh district of Ghazni province was beheaded on Saturday, the education ministry said in a statement.

On the same day, dozens of militants, riding on motorbikes, came to Zardalo area of the district and torched two elementary schools, Muhibullah Khepilwak, district governor, said. One of the schools was a girls' school and the other for boys.

The Taliban, which was driven from power in late 2001 in a military invasion led by the US, have yet to comment on the incidents.

During its 1996-2001 reign, the Taliban banned all girls schools in the country. Women were not allowed to be seen in public, unless covered from head to toe by veil and accompanied by male members of their families.

The Afghan government and NATO blames the Taliban for the destruction of dozens of schools and the death of students and teachers since the invasion.

Taliban spokesmen say the group's leadership has, in a recent guideline, instructed its militants to refrain from attacking educational institutions and harming civilians.

Saturday's attacks came two days after police in the neighbouring province of Uruzgan found 11 beheaded men in Khan Uruzgan district of the province. Although the provincial authorities blamed Taliban for the killings, officials in the interior ministry said they were still investigating.