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150 Afghan School Girls Poisoned By Water

04/18/2012 12:51 PM ET

Officials are blaming conservative radicals in Afghanistan for the poisoning of around 150 Afghan school girls by contaminating their drinking water with poisonous gas.

The poisonings have occurred over a two-year period throughout various schools for girls in the country, and the Taliban is suspected, which opposes female education and has placed a ban on it, though no one will directly blame them in fear of retribution.

A ban that has apparently had no effect on deterring females from seeking an education in the country as it is reported that more than a million Afghan girls are attending schools.

In response, the Taliban has taken to poisoning the drinking water at the schools. Though the girls effected have become very sick there has been no fatalities reported due to drinking the contaminated water. The girls have suffered from headaches and vomiting with some being placed in critical condition while receiving treatment at hospitals.

The contamination of the water was first found in 2010 when blood tests of victims of a mass sickness showed the toxic contamination in their system.

“We are 100 percent sure that the water they drunk inside their classes was poisoned. This is either the work of those who are against girls’ education or irresponsible armed individuals,” said Jan Mohammad Nabizada, a spokesman for the education department in northern Takhar province.

“This is not a natural illness. It’s an intentional act to poison schoolgirls,” said Haffizullah Safi, head of Takhar’s public health department, after evidence showed.


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