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‘Pak school’s Canadian branch closes after 4 girls joined IS’

A Canadian school, branch of a female madrassa in Pakistan where California shooter studied, has suspended its classes for at least a day after a media report emerged that four of its girl students had joined Islamic State in Syria.

The Al-Huda Elementary School in Mississauga city in Ontario suspended the classes for Tuesday (yesterday).

The school in Canada is the branch of Pakistan’s Al-Huda Institute in Multan, one of Pakistan’s most high-profile religious seminaries for women, where San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik had studied.

Parents of the some 160 children who attend the school were told to check their email for more information about when classes would resume, the CBC News reported.

In an emailed statement to the news website, the school said that it would be closed all Tuesday because staff and students are “at risk of backlash” following its Monday’s article which said that four young women who studied at the school travelled overseas to join ISIS.

The oldest of the four teenagers has been living in Syria since last year. The other three were stopped by security officials in Turkey and brought back to Canada.

“Al-Huda Institute Canada would like to be clear that law enforcement authorities have never brought forward any allegations that four girls associated with the Institute traveled to join terrorist organisations,” the school’s operations manager Imran Haq said.

“The Institute has no knowledge as to the identity of these individuals and as such, cannot confirm whether or not they were enrolled in the Institution, for how long, or any other related information,” Haq added.

Tashfeen Malik, one of two shooters involved in the deadly attack in US’ San Bernardino in which 14 people were killed, attended Al-Huda’s Pakistan campus.