Second poison attack on Afghan schoolgirls
Girls at a school in Afghanistan were taken to hospital last week after poison was sprayed into their classrooms.
The BBC reported that 125 schoolgirls and three female teachers at the Bibi Haji school in the Takhar province received treatment after experiencing nausea, headaches and dizziness. Some of the girls were as young as 10.
Taliban insurgents are suspected to be behind the attack.
According to Al Jazeera, intelligence officials believe it was carried out as part of an operation aimed at shutting down schools before the proposed withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014.
A spokesperson for Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security said: “By poisoning girls they want to create fear. They try to make families not send their children to school.”
This is the second attack on schoolgirls in the Takhar province in as many months. In April, 171 women and girls were treated for poisoning when water at their school was contaminated (see WVoN story).
The attacks raise further concern for what the future holds for Afghan women.
Since the US-led invasion in 2001, three million girls have been able to return to school, according to Al Jazeera.
Under the former Taliban regime girls and women were banned from education and employment.