Recently, a camera crew happened to be on hand for such an attack — and things quickly turned ugly, as CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports.
Pictures of an Afghan school being burned to the ground by a resurgent Taliban, shot by an Afghani camera crew working for a British news program, are a rare example of the unstable and dangerous security situation in Afghanistan.
As the crew films, the Taliban fighters who set the fire suddenly appear and threaten to shoot the journalists. They also try to take the camera.
These Taliban say the schools are symbols of western intervention in Afghanistan. Under Taliban rule, education was restricted to the teachings of the Koran — and girls couldn't go to school at all.
Across Afghanistan, more than 160 schools, many of them newly built, have been burned. These Taliban say the schools are un-Islamic — foreign.
"The Koran tells us who our friends are," one says. "Americans? We don't want Americans. We don't want Americans, or anyone else. We'll look after our own country. Down with America.. Down with America!"
But while the Taliban fighters continue to argue with the crew about the camera, there's another shock — they are ambushed by Afghan government security forces.
Caught between the Taliban and the government forces, the camera crew tries to take shelter, moving toward the burning school.
In the confusion, and ignoring the protests of the producer, a soldier rains blows on the crew. In the background, another soldier begins to beat one of the Taliban under arrest. The beatings continue until a senior officer orders a halt. What's unusual this time is that the security forces showed up at all — more often than not, they can't or don't come.
Four years after they were driven from power by the U.S.-led invasion, officials and elders here say the Taliban is making a comeback.