Hundreds Of Schools Closed Amid Fighting In Afghan Province

The Afghan government has closed hundreds of schools in the western province of Farah, the scene of a major Taliban offensive this week.

A total of 411 educational facilities, including 379 primary schools, 32 higher education facilities, and teacher training centers in Farah, have been closed, said Mohammad Sadiq Halimi, the deputy head of the provincial department of education.

The Ministry of Education announced earlier this week that all education facilities would be closed by May 19 for the safety of students and school staff.

"Considering the grave security concerns, the ministry declares that schools and other education centers in Farah Province will be closed until the situation can be stabilized to protect students, teachers, and education employees," the ministry said in a statement on May 17.

The schools are set to reopen by the end of the holy month of Ramadan on June 12.

Across the country, around 1,000 schools are closed due to conflict, according to the ministry.

On May 15, hundreds of Taliban militants stormed the provincial capital, Farah city, seizing most of the town before they were pushed back by Afghan security forces backed by NATO warplanes.

Clashes between the militants and government forces have continued on the outskirts of the city.

Based on reporting by dpa and 1TV