International

Huge spike in Burkina Faso school attacks – Human Rights Watch

Soldiers are battling Islamist militants who oppose "Western" education

An international pressure group says a surge in Islamist militant attacks on schools in Burkina Faso is having a devastating impact on education.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said more than 200 teachers and other staff had been targeted since 2017 – some of them shot, others beheaded.

The armed Islamists say they oppose education as it is French and Western.

They have shot over the heads of students to scare them away. Schools have been blown up and used as military bases. Books have been burned and canteens looted.

All schools in Burkina Faso are now shut because of coronavirus.

But Islamist militant attacks had already forced 2,500 schools to close, depriving more than a 330,000 children of education.