NBC News, August 31, 2015
School Poisoning? Nearly 100 Girls Fall Ill in Herat, Afghanistan
Forty of the 94 sickened girls from a minority Shiite neighborhood were admitted to hospital after feeling ill at school
by Fazul Rahim & F. Brinley Bruton
Schoolgirls are treated in an Afghan hospital May 12, 2009 after they took ill in Kapisa province, north of Kabul. At least 98 people were admitted to hospital. (Photo: Ahmad Masood/Reuters)
KABUL — Nearly 100 Afghan schoolgirls fell sick on Monday, prompting officials in the western city of Herat to investigate whether they were poisoned by Taliban militants.
"Our initial finding shows some kind of spray was used by some of the students to freshen up the classrooms," provincial police spokesman Col. Abdul Rauf Ahmadi told NBC News. "Our investigation is ongoing to determine if it was an act of sabotage or poor quality spray."
Forty of the 94 sickened girls from a minority Shiite neighborhood were admitted to hospital after feeling ill at school, Herat's police chief Gen. Majid Rozi told NBC News. All were were feeling better and in good health by Monday afternoon, he added.
Fundamentalist Sunni Muslim Taliban militants have a history of targeting both girls' schools and the Shiite Muslim minority in Afghanistan. However, the group did not immediately claim responsibility for Monday's incident.
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