In Afghanistan, the Taliban ordered the closure of girls’ schools hours after reopening on wednesday, a spokesman said.

“Yes, that’s true,” Taliban spokeswoman Inamura Sagani told AFP when asked to confirm reports that the girls had been ordered to return home.

As the AFP team was filming at Zargon High School in the capital Kabul, a teacher came in and ordered everyone to go home.

The downtrodden students, who returned to class for the first time since the Taliban took power in August, left in tears.

The international community has made education an obstacle to all negotiations for support and recognition of the new Taliban regime.