Men in Afghanistan throw acid in girls' faces 'for going to school'

The men reportedly shouted 'this is the punishment for going to school'

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Schoolgirls in Afghanistan have had acid thrown in their faces by men as a punishment for attending school.

An official told CNN that the attack took place yesterday when three girls, aged 16 to 18, were making their way to school in the Herat province. They were approached by two men on motorbikes who poured the substance on them. They reportedly told the girls: “This is the punishment for going to school.”

The three girls were taken to Herat’s Noor hospital. Jamal Abdul Naser Akhundzada, head of the hospital, told CNN that two of the girls were in a critical condition following the attack.

Afghan women and girls face a number of barriers to education as a result of attacks by insurgents opposed to women learning. According to a recent UN report, just 12 per cent of Afghan women are literate.

Unicef estimate that 2.4 million girls in Afghanistan are currently receiving no form of education, compared to 1.6 million boys.