Afghanistan: 100 students from two girls' schools poisoned

Another 15 teachers were also the victims of poisoning in what authorities are investigating as a criminal act.

Nearly 100 women were poisoned this week in Afghanistan in what could be a criminal attack on two girls' schools. The victims are mostly students, in addition to a dozen teachers.

The events occurred in the Sangcharak district, in the center of the country. According to CNN, police authorities have begun an investigation into what happened at two educational centers. No arrests have been made at this time.

The first attack caused 17 underage students to be admitted to a hospital. A few days later, another center suffered a second poisoning and another 60 students joined. Members of the teaching team were also affected.

According to an education official from the unrecognized Taliban government in the region, the girls suffered from dizziness, nausea and headaches. According to the provincial head of education, 14 of the students are in critical condition.

A source from the hospital where the minors were transferred confirmed to CNN, on condition of anonymity, that the symptoms that all the students present are consistent with poisoning.

In Afghanistan, women have been especially at risk since the Taliban regained power in the summer of 2021 after the American departure and the collapse of the previous government. The international community harshly criticized the radical Islamist measures implemented by the Taliban that prevented women from accessing education.

As a result of this criticism, the Taliban government allowed women under 12 years of age to attend schools. However, this continues to cause problems in this country governed by the most extreme interpretation of Islamic law.

Already in 2023, another incident similar to this week occurred. At least 82 girls were poisoned in two schools in northern Afghanistan. Even before the Taliban regained power, these incidents occurred. In 2012, 170 women suffered poisoning that left them hospitalized.