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article imageTaliban poisons 120 school girls in classroom attack

By Pratidnya Bhat     May 24, 2012 in World
Taloqan - Taliban poisoned over 120 school girls and three teachers in a school in northern Afghanistan. An unidentified toxic powder was used to contaminate the air in the classrooms.
Bibi Haji Girl’s School in Takhar province came under Taliban attack, where poisonous materials had been sprayed in the classrooms. More than 120 school girls, as young as 10, were rushed to the hospital on Wednesday, after they complained of nausea, headaches and dizziness. Scores of students were left unconscious. Most have been treated and discharged but 30 - including three female teachers - are still being treated.
Blood samples have been sent to Kabul for further tests.
This is a second such attack in recent months. Similar attacks against school children have taken place in various other provinces.
Police spokesman Khalilullah Aseer said he believed Taliban insurgents were trying to spread fear by poisoning the schoolgirls, reported the BBC.
The Taliban believes that educating girls is un-Islamic. It continues to create fear among students, teachers, parents and schools by carrying out such gruesome acts. A similar incident took place in the month of April, when 150 schoolgirls were poisoned after they drank contaminated water in Takhar province.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agency warned that the Taliban was pressing ahead with its campaign to close girl schools ahead of withdrawal of US and NATO forces in 2014, reported Reuters.
"A part of their... Al Farooq spring offensive operation is... to close schools," NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal told Reuters news agency.
Women had been returning to schools in Afghanistan after the fall of Taliban in 2001.
Such attacks continue to happen in the conservative south and east of Afghanistan from where the Taliban insurgency draws most of its support. 550 schools from nearly 11 provinces had been closed down in the last week.
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