By Nadar Azizi
PAN, May 27, 2012: Once again radicals opposing girls’ education on Sunday poisoned more than three dozen schoolgirls in northern Takhar province, the third incident of its kind over the past two months, officials said. (Photo: PAN)
Once again radicals opposing girls’ education on Sunday poisoned more than three dozen schoolgirls in northern Takhar province, the third incident of its kind over the past two months, officials said.
The victims, students of the Bibi Hajira High School, situated on the 5th road of Taloqan city, the provincial capital, fell sick for unknown reasons, Education Director Abdul Wahab Zafari told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The incident takes place four days after more than 120 schoolgirls and three teachers of the same school were poisoned, in the second attack in as many months, blamed on conservative radicals opposed to education for women and girls in the north, according to police and education officials.
Nearly 43 girls were brought to the Takhar Civil Hospital, Public Health Director Dr. Hafizullah confirmed to Pajhwok.
However, he said the cause of the incident remained unclear and they had sent blood samples to Qaloqan city for examination.
The hospital’s administrative officer Abdul Qayum Qani said they had launched an investigation on the incident, in coordination with security personnel.
All the affected students were discharged from the hospital after treatment, he said.
Police spokesman Khalilullah Asir said no one had been arrested so far in connection with the poisoning case.
“When I entered the school, I smelt an ordour. After smelling, I fell unconscious on the ground,” said Zakia, a 9th grade student of the school.
Nearly 3,000 students are studying in the school.
However, it is believed the radicals used an unidentified toxic powder to contaminate the air in classrooms.
Meanwhile, in a statement on Sunday, Taliban have denied any involvement in burning of schools or poisoning students in the country.