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Universities reopen first time in Taliban rule

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KABUL: Some public universities have opened in Afghanistan for the first time since the Taliban seized power in August, with a trickle of women attending classes that officials said would be segregated by gender.

Most secondary schools for girls and all public universities were shuttered when the group stormed back to power, sparking fears women would again be barred from education as happened during the Taliban’s first rule, from 1996-2001.

“It’s a moment of joy for us that our classes have started,” Zarlashta Haqmal, who studies law and political science at Nangarhar University, a western news agency.

“But we are still worried that the Taliban might stop them.”

A correspondent of western media saw one small group of women, wearing the all-covering burqa, enter Laghman University early on Wednesday.

The men who attended ferried to the campus in local taxis and buses were dressed in traditional tunics known as shalwar kameez.

Attendance was very light and Taliban forces guarded the entrance, a tripod-mounted machine gun resting on a boom gate.

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