Pakistan News

Sixty Afghan girls hospitalised after school poisoning

KABUL: Around 60 Afghan girls were hospitalisd after being poisoned at their school in northern Afghanistan, police said on Monday.

The poisoning, which targeted a girls’ school in the Afghan province of Sare Pol, comes after intense scrutiny of girls’ education in the war-torn nation since the Taliban took over and barred most teenage female students.

“Some unknown people entered a girls’ ... school in Sancharak district ... and poisoned the classes, when the girls come to classes they got poisoned,” said Den Mohammad Nazari, Sare Pol’s police spokesperson, without elaborating on which substance was used or who was thought to be behind the incident.

Police silent on identity of culprits, say students are in ‘good’ condition

Nazari said the girls had been taken to hospital but were in “good condition”. No one had been arrested.

During Afghanistan’s previous foreign-backed government, several poisoning attacks, including suspected gas attacks, on girls’ schools had taken place.

In neighbouring Iran, poisoning incidents at girls’ schools sickened an estimated 13,000 mostly female students since November.

The Taliban administration has prevented most female students from attending high school and university since taking over in 2021, sparking condemnation from international governments and many Afghans. Taliban authorities have kept primary schools open for girls, up until the age of around 12 and say they are in favour of female education under certain conditions.

Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2023

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