ISIS forcing universities to close in eastern Afghanistan

ISIS forcing universities to close in eastern Afghanistan

Several higher education institutes in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, including its main university, have had to shut down following threats issued by ISIS insurgents.

The closures come amid a deteriorating security situation in Nangarhar, with more than 300 deaths and above 600 injuries in the last six months.

Given those attacks, officials say they have been left with no option but to take specific threats against schools and universities seriously.

“A threat was issued nearly two weeks ago, but there have been fears of possible attacks for a very long time, even years,” Shakib Sharifzai, a citizen from Nangarhar told The National, outlining that both state and private institutions, including Nangarhar University, Nangarhar Medical University, and the separate Nangarhar Computer Science Faculty.

Haji Gul Wahaj, an assistant professor at Nangarhar University, confirmed that their institute received a warning from security agencies ahead of a graduation ceremony two weeks ago.

Although the ceremony took place without disruption, very few students and families showed up.

“They have closed down in the last two weeks due to threats from Daesh,” Mr Wahaj said of the ISIS threats.

The closures com as Taliban leaders say they are massing fighters for a decisive operation to drive ISIS from Nangarhar, following a similar offensive that routed the latter from the country’s north.

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