Islamic extremists burned down a girls' school south of the capital and have distributed letters threatening to kill anyone working for the US-backed Afghan government, a senior Afghan military official said on Friday.
The Abu Sofian girls' school, which was housed in a tent, was torched on Wednesday night in Logar province, about 50km south of Kabul, said General Hatiqulluh Luddin, a regional military commander.
He said authorities were still investigating the incident but blamed unnamed "extremists" in nearby villages.
Luddin said that two weeks ago another tented girls' school was burned down in a neighboring district.
The Abu Sofian school, which has about 250 students aged between seven and 13, would reopen as planned yesterday after nearly one month's holiday, he said. Schools across the country have been closed because of hot weather.
The former Taliban regime prohibited girls from attending school as part of its widely criticized drive to establish a "pure" Islamic state, before it was ousted by a US-led military force in late 2001. However, there is still opposition among some in Afghanistan's Pashtun ethnic majority to education for girls.
The Taliban and their allies have recently stepped up attacks on government targets -- particularly in eastern and southern Afghanistan -- in an apparent drive to undermine the administration of President Harmid Karzai.
Luddin said that in the past week, authorities in Logar have found 30 night letters -- fliers sometimes distributed by different extremist groups -- threatening anyone who cooperates with his government.
One letter, claiming to be from the Taliban, said that the group was active all over the country and did not want girls' schools. It threatened to kill anyone who worked with the "infidel" government.
Another letter from a group calling itself Mujahedeen Message said: "Nobody should work with the Americans. It is an infidel government, whose workings should die."