About 80 Afghan girls have been hospitalized after being poisoned at schools in northern Afghanistan, police said on Monday.
The poisoning, which targeted a girls' school in Afghanistan's Sar-el Pol province, comes after intense Taliban scrutiny of young girls' education and a wave of poison attacks on girls' schools in neighboring Iran.
"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, Sar-e-Pol's police spokesperson, without elaborating on which substance was used or who was thought to be behind the incident.
Nazari said the girls had been taken to the hospital but were in "good condition." No one had been arrested.
In neighboring Iran, where similar cases have occurred, poisoning incidents have been ongoing since November. Around 13,000 students have been sickened in the incidents.
During the previous foreign-backed government in Afghanistan, similar incidents occurred in girls' schools and there were numerous poisoning attacks, including suspected gas attacks.
Since taking office in 2021, the Taliban have kept schools open for girls up to the age of 12, but barred them from entering high schools and universities. This has drawn condemnation from international governments and many Afghans. Despite this, the administration says it is in favor of women's education under certain conditions.
Source: Reuters - Gulf Today