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Mali crisis disrupts education of 700,000 children: UN

Published on Feb 25, 2013 6:11 AM
A boy carries a bag as he searches for goods on Feb 24, 2013 in Gao's market which allegedly burnt down following an attack by Islamist militants on Feb 21, 2013 in Gao, some 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) north of Bamako. Fresh fighting erupted yesterday in northern Mali between ethnic Tuaregs and an unidentified armed group, security sources told AFP, the latest violence in the wake of a French-led campaign that drove radical Islamist fighters from major cities. -- PHOTO : AFP

DAKAR (AFP) - The conflict in northern Mali has disrupted the education of nearly three quarters of a million children, the United Nations Children's Fund told AFP on Sunday.

"The crisis in Mali has disrupted the education of some 700,000 Malian children, leaving 200,000 still with no access to school both in the north and south of the country, according to Unicef and educational authorities in Mali," UNICEF said in a statement.

"Since January 2012, 115 schools in the North were closed, destroyed, looted," the statement said, adding that "unexploded bombs" had been found in some establishments.

The situation has worsened since the conflict intensified this January with France's intervention in Mali, Unicef said.

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