KABUL- The Education Directorate of eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan has said the Taliban militants have closed all the schools in Haskamina district.

About 20,000 boys and girls have been stopped from attending schools for the last three days, said Muhammad Asif Shinwari, spokesman of Nangarhar Education Directorate."The Taliban have said reopening of schools is conditional to the release of their prisoners, reopening of the blocked roads and medical aid to their clinics," Shinwari added. "We cannot do anything to these demands of Taliban," Shinwari stated. "Our schools must be reopened."

Expressing deep concern over closure of schools, the Haskamina residents have called on the Taliban to end preventing their children from receiving education. "This is a big treason to the nation," said Sher Shah Hamdard, a local of Haskamina. "No one has the right to stop our children from attending school."

Provincial Council member, Zabihullah Zemaray, said that the Taliban are using the schools as their shelters.According to officials, the Ministry of Education has been informed about the issue through a formal letter but it has not responded so far.It is said that the Taliban have closed all schools of Haskamina district of Nangarhar for the first time over the past thirteen years.