Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack

Published: April 17, 2012
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Some of the 150 girls, who suffered from headaches and vomiting, were in critical condition.

Some of the 150 girls, who suffered from headaches and vomiting, were in critical condition.

KUNDUZ: About 150 Afghan schoolgirls were poisoned on Tuesday after drinking contaminated water at a high school in the country’s north, officials said, blaming it on conservative radicals opposed to female education.   

Since the 2001 toppling of the Taliban, which banned education for women and girls, females have returned to schools, especially in Kabul.

But periodic attacks still occur against girls, teachers and their school buildings, usually in the more conservative south and east of the country, from where the Taliban insurgency draws most support.

“We are 100% 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 education department in northern Takhar province.

Some of the 150 girls, who suffered from headaches and vomiting, were in critical condition, while others were able to go home after treatment in hospital, the officials said.

They said they knew the water had been poisoned because a larger tank used to fill the affected water jugs was not contaminated.

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

None of the officials blamed any particular group for the attack, fearing retribution from anyone named.

The Afghan government said last year that the Taliban, which has been trying to adopt a more moderate face to advance exploratory peace talks, had dropped its opposition to female education.

But the insurgency has never stated that explicitly and in the past acid has been thrown in the faces of women and girls by men while walking to school.

Education for women was outlawed by the Taliban government from 1996-2001 as un-Islamic.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Sinclair
    Apr 17, 2012 - 6:50PM

    This is just not done man.

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  • RH
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:04PM

    What kind of people poison little girls?

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  • j. von hettlingen
    Apr 17, 2012 - 7:34PM

    It’s in the interest of the Taliban to find out who were behind these atrocities. Or else they would get the blame for them. Afghanistan will always remain a backward country if it doesn’t allow women, who make up of nearly half of the population, to contribute to their country’s welfare.

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  • Senman
    Apr 17, 2012 - 8:50PM

    Someday there will be no girls in the countries where they hate girls then they will know. I am a man but unable to grasp the mentality of some men who goes so low to stop the development of girls. They have no rights to call themselves Man.

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  • Ali S
    Apr 17, 2012 - 9:14PM

    I seriously think it’s about time this extremist mentality is evaluated in psychiatric terms – there’s simply no logical explanation (let alone religious or cultural) for poisoning little girls. It indicates a psychological disorder. Sick, sick people (even calling them “people” is a dishonour to humanity).

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  • AIN
    Apr 17, 2012 - 10:34PM

    If our Govt. and ruling authorities didn’t wakeup then may be this news would be from Pakistan one day. As now extremists are getting strength day by day in Pakistan. And still the majority of Pakistan thinks that every thing on the name of Islam is permissible either killing or declaring anyone non Muslim

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  • Zarlasht
    Apr 17, 2012 - 11:20PM

    As an afghan woman, this post makes me cry out loudly. How sad, how silly. Do these beast feel manly now? Is this a sign of their manhood? Be ashmed of yourself, you murders.

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  • xzy
    Apr 17, 2012 - 11:52PM

    For those who claim Afghan Talibans are TRUE MUSLIMS, I thought Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h) said “Acquiring knowledge is the duty of every Muslim man and every Muslim woman.’
    Still gonna support these misogynistic holy warriors? Recommend

  • 1984
    Apr 18, 2012 - 12:00AM

    This is a wake up call for everyone,especially the Muslims….
    These Taliban and other terror groups claimed they’re fighting for Islam against the oppression of other religions..
    They always say they’re taking revenge on others killing muslims

    But now they’re ready to kill their own girls for their twisted ideologies…Imagine what will happen if they take over Pakistan.,…

    If normal muslims dont take a stand against them,tomorrow it will be them who will be poisoned and murdered…Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 18, 2012 - 12:09AM

    The Vedic/Buddhist people have to re-establish presence in Afghanistan.

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  • OG
    Apr 18, 2012 - 1:36AM

    sad…. just sad! a human being just cant do such a thing like poison little girls… tsk tsk! people who did this are dam animals!

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  • Yaida M
    Apr 18, 2012 - 6:46AM

    Why are the clerics not speaking up against these crimes? Or is their morality only reserved for America?

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  • harish
    Apr 18, 2012 - 7:52AM

    islam zindabad….

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  • PakistaniStrategist
    Apr 18, 2012 - 9:41AM

    Taliban in Afghanistan are important part of Pakistan’s strategy so I won’t criticize them but they should be encouraged to avoid such things.

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  • Berny
    Apr 18, 2012 - 10:25PM

    The most dangerous thing to Muslim extremists is an educated woman who can see through all their non Qur’anic rubbish.

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  • greenstone123
    Apr 19, 2012 - 6:38AM

    My heart goes out to the girls and their families. This is a sad day for the human race.

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