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94 more Afghan schoolgirls reportedly poisoned in Sar-i-Pul



Less than 24 hours after Afghan authorities reported a suspected poison attack against a high school in northern Sar-i-Pul province, a second suspected poison attack sickened 94 female students at the Sorkhak girls' high school in Sar-i-Pul City, according to Pajhwok Afghan News.

Unlike the symptoms of nausea, headaches, and fever reported in yesterday's attack, the female students sickened at the Sorkhak girls' high school had reportedly developed rashes and dizziness. Afghan authorities believed a "poisonous substance or gas" had been sprayed in the classrooms and sickened the students.

Today's attack marks the 10th suspected poison attack in northern Afghanistan since mid-April, and the latest episode this year that has sickened hundreds of students in Takhar, Khost, Bamyan, Kabul, and Nangarhar provinces.

For more information on previous poison attacks, see LWJ report, NDS arrests senior Taliban leader and 14 others linked to school poisonings, and TM report, Afghan officials report suspected poison attack in Sar-i-Pul.

Below is a timeline of the suspected poison attacks against girls' schools in northern Afghanistan this year:

  • June 23, 2012: Afghan medical personnel treated 94 female students after they fell ill from a suspected poison attack at the Sorkhak girls' high school in Sar-i-Pul City.
  • June 22, 2012: Over 100 schoolgirls fell ill at the Hazrat Imam Zada Yahya high school in northern Sar-i-Pul province, which Afghan authorities blamed on a suspected poison attack.
  • June 5, 2012: As many as 60 schoolgirls were believed to have been poisoned at a school in the Rustaq district of Takhar province. Takhar government officials claimed that at least 11 suspects including a "group leader" had been arrested by local security forces for their role in the series of poison attacks in northeastern Afghanistan.
  • June 3, 2012: At least 65 schoolgirls were poisoned at the Nahid Shahid high school in the Farkhar district of Takhar province. Local officials said at least four suspects, including a Pakistani woman, have been detained in connection to the poisoning of schoolgirls in Takhar. This is the sixth time that the schools have been poisoned in northeastern Takhar recently.

  • June 2, 2012: Two dozen schoolgirls -- between seven and 18 years old -- were believed to have been poisoned at the Bashir Abad School in Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province, and were sent to local hospitals for treatment.

  • May 29, 2012 : Local authorities in Takhar province believed that between 74 and 120 schoolgirls had been poisoned early Tuesday morning at the Aahan Draaw girls' school.

  • May 27, 2012: Hospital officials treated at least 40 schoolgirls from Bibi Hajera High School in Takhar's capital city of Taloqan after they had fallen ill, apparently from being poisoned. The all-female school had also suffered a poisoning attack a few days prior.

  • May 23, 2012: Eighty girls were evacuated from the Bibi Hajera High School in the 5th police district of Taloqan in Takhar province and were treated at a local hospital along with three school teachers and a staff member after falling ill from an apparent poison attack.

  • April 17, 2012: Afghan officials in Takhar province announced that dozens of schoolgirls had become ill after consuming poisoned drinking water at the Dabiristan girls high school in the Rustaq district of Takhar province. Subsequent test results of the possibly poisoned drinking water have proved inconclusive.



READER COMMENTS: "94 more Afghan schoolgirls reportedly poisoned in Sar-i-Pul "

Posted by James at June 24, 2012 11:17 PM ET:

Just appalling ! ! !

If this isn't an example of a war crime and a crime against humanity then someone please tell me what is.

Posted by Max at June 25, 2012 10:13 AM ET:

What a great selling point for Islam: "We want people to be ignorant, especially our women" "Stupidity is #1!" "Duh is grrrreat!"

Posted by ArneFufkin at June 25, 2012 5:30 PM ET:

These are the folks we're trying to negotiate with?

Posted by mike merlo at June 25, 2012 5:35 PM ET:

Hearts & Minds Taliban style. How quaint.

Posted by Yellow Devil at June 25, 2012 7:37 PM ET:

Poisoning school girls, wow how manly. Keep this up Taliban/Al-Qaeda, just so you can reinforce the fact you all hold the position of pond scum within the course of human history. Pathetic.

Posted by Vyom at June 26, 2012 9:33 AM ET:

These Islamic terrorists are a bunch of cowards. I mean a school girl after a toddler is the softest possible target and they are targeting them.

Posted by Tony Buzan at June 26, 2012 10:35 PM ET:

Why is this persisting so much in the NORTH of Afghanistan (the part NOT controlled by Pashtuns)?

This isn't happening NEARLY so frequently in Pakistan or southern Afghanistan.

This is Tajik country. The Northern Alliance.

Do these occurrences have anything to do with Uzbeks?

Posted by Matthew Small at June 27, 2012 4:41 PM ET:

This is so horrible, and yet most media outlets have completely ignored this story. Apparently dozens of young girls being poisoned isn't newsworthy, but the details of ancient human ancestors eating habits are: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/science/australopithecus-sediba-preferred-forest-foods-fossil-teeth-suggest.html?hp

How amoral is our society and our news media that this story doesn't get a little press. The suffering of our fellow human beings doesn't matter much apparently.