For the second time in less than a week more than 100 schoolgirls in northern Afghanistan have been hospitalized for poisoning. The incident occurred Tuesday at the Aahan Dara Girls School in Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province. Police officials say 160 girls between the ages of 10 and 20 were sickened by an unknown kind of poison that was most likely sprayed in their classrooms before school began Tuesday morning.
Health officials say the girls suffered from headaches, dizziness and vomiting -- the same symptoms as those poisoned last week. Blood samples will be tested to help determine what kind of toxic substance was used in the attack.
Tuesday’s attack comes just six days after 125 students and 3 teachers from Bibi Hajera School in Taloqan were hospitalized for suspected poisoning. Many of the victims reported detecting a strange smell in the building before falling ill. Authorities believe a spray may have been used in that incident also.
Takhar police spokesman Khalilullah Aseer blamed that attack on the Taliban. "The Afghan people know that the terrorists and the Taliban are doing these things to threaten girls and stop them going to school. That's something we and the people believe. Now we are implementing democracy in Afghanistan and we want girls to be educated, but the government's enemies don't want this,” he said.
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