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Pictures | Wed Jan 18, 2017 | 3:10pm GMT

Back to school at former Islamic State prison

Students are seen leaving, after class, the "Aisha Mother of the Believers" school which was recently reopened after rebels took control of al-Rai town from Islamic State militants, Syria January 16, 2017.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students are seen leaving, after class, the "Aisha Mother of the Believers" school which was recently reopened after rebels took control of al-Rai town from Islamic State militants, Syria January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students are seen leaving, after class, the "Aisha Mother of the Believers" school which was recently reopened after rebels took control of al-Rai town from Islamic State militants, Syria January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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With no chairs or desks, around 250 children huddled in classrooms on mats to stay off the cold concrete at the Aisha Mother of the Believers school in al-Rai, in the northern Aleppo hinterland near the Turkish border.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

With no chairs or desks, around 250 children huddled in classrooms on mats to stay off the cold concrete at the Aisha Mother of the Believers school in al-Rai, in the northern Aleppo hinterland near the Turkish border. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

With no chairs or desks, around 250 children huddled in classrooms on mats to stay off the cold concrete at the Aisha Mother of the Believers school in al-Rai, in the northern Aleppo hinterland near the Turkish border. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Sifting through ripped up textbooks and writing on broken whiteboards, Syrian children returned this week to a dilapidated small-town school that was used by Islamic State militants as a prison for more than two years.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Sifting through ripped up textbooks and writing on broken whiteboards, Syrian children returned this week to a dilapidated small-town school that was used by Islamic State militants as a prison for more than two years. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Sifting through ripped up textbooks and writing on broken whiteboards, Syrian children returned this week to a dilapidated small-town school that was used by Islamic State militants as a prison for more than two years. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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The students, aged 5-15, were given notebooks and pens on their first day back on Monday by seven volunteers who teach reading, writing and maths and helped get the school habitable again over the past six weeks.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The students, aged 5-15, were given notebooks and pens on their first day back on Monday by seven volunteers who teach reading, writing and maths and helped get the school habitable again over the past six weeks. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The students, aged 5-15, were given notebooks and pens on their first day back on Monday by seven volunteers who teach reading, writing and maths and helped get the school habitable again over the past six weeks. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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The school previously taught 500 students before being seized 2 1/2 years ago by Islamic State insurgents, who slapped logos on school bags bearing the slogan "Cubs of the Caliphate", residents said.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The school previously taught 500 students before being seized 2 1/2 years ago by Islamic State insurgents, who slapped logos on school bags bearing the slogan "Cubs of the Caliphate", residents said. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The school previously taught 500 students before being seized 2 1/2 years ago by Islamic State insurgents, who slapped logos on school bags bearing the slogan "Cubs of the Caliphate", residents said. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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The principal and teachers fled the area when Islamic State took over and parents stopped sending their children to the school, which closed after two months and was used to house prisoners of the ultra-hardline jihadists. Volunteers set about trying to return the school to its previous standards last month in al-Rai after Syrian Free Army rebels backed by the Turkish military ousted Islamic State from the area.   REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

The principal and teachers fled the area when Islamic State took over and parents stopped sending their children to the school, which closed after two months and was used to house prisoners of the ultra-hardline jihadists. Volunteers set about trying...more

The principal and teachers fled the area when Islamic State took over and parents stopped sending their children to the school, which closed after two months and was used to house prisoners of the ultra-hardline jihadists. Volunteers set about trying to return the school to its previous standards last month in al-Rai after Syrian Free Army rebels backed by the Turkish military ousted Islamic State from the area. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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A student carries belongings in a plastic bag as he arrives to attend a class. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A student carries belongings in a plastic bag as he arrives to attend a class. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A student carries belongings in a plastic bag as he arrives to attend a class. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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With shattered windows, bullet strewn walls, debris and broken equipment still present, there is plenty left to do for the team of volunteers, who say they are seeking funding from local and Turkish authorities.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

With shattered windows, bullet strewn walls, debris and broken equipment still present, there is plenty left to do for the team of volunteers, who say they are seeking funding from local and Turkish authorities. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

With shattered windows, bullet strewn walls, debris and broken equipment still present, there is plenty left to do for the team of volunteers, who say they are seeking funding from local and Turkish authorities. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Students sit on damaged desks.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students sit on damaged desks. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students sit on damaged desks. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Students gesture as they stand in line. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students gesture as they stand in line. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students gesture as they stand in line. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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A student carries a Unicef-donated school bag.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A student carries a Unicef-donated school bag. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A student carries a Unicef-donated school bag. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Students play. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students play. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students play. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Students stand amid damaged desks and books. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students stand amid damaged desks and books. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students stand amid damaged desks and books. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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A damaged laboratory model of a human head is seen. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A damaged laboratory model of a human head is seen. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A damaged laboratory model of a human head is seen. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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A classroom used as a prison by Islamic State militants. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A classroom used as a prison by Islamic State militants. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

A classroom used as a prison by Islamic State militants. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Students' shoes are seen on a broken window. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students' shoes are seen on a broken window. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Students' shoes are seen on a broken window. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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