Afghans arrest schoolgirl acid attackers

Other News Materials 25 November 2008 12:37 (UTC +04:00)

Afghan authorities have arrested 10 Taliban insurgents who threw acid in the faces of schoolgirls in southern Afghanistan, an official said on Tuesday.

President Hamid Karzai ordered the arrest of the culprits and said they would be executed in public after the attack on eight schoolgirls and four female teachers in the southern city of Kandahar this month, reported Reuters.

General Mohammad Daud Daud, the deputy interior minister tasked to deal with incident, said authorities had arrested 10 men in recent days in connection to the attack.

"The attack was the work of the Taliban and we have not finalized our investigation," Daud told reporters in Kandahar.

The Taliban barred girls from education while they were in power from 1996 until U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the hardline Islamist movement in 2001, but the militants denied any involvement in the acid attack.

Violence has surged to its worst level this year in Afghanistan since the Taliban's removal. The ongoing insecurity, as well as attacks targeting schools and teachers, have stopped tens of thousands of Afghan students attending classes.