Thursday, May 24, 2012

Poisoned in the classroom: 125 Afghan girls rushed to hospital after 'Taliban attacked school with toxic powder'

At least 125 schoolgirls and three teachers have been poisoned in the second attack in as many months blamed on conservative radicals in the country's north, Afghan police and education officials said on Wednesday.

The attack occurred in Takhar province where police said that radicals opposed to education of women and girls had used an unidentified toxic powder to contaminate the air in classrooms.

Scores of students were left unconscious.

Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), says the Taliban appear intent on closing schools ahead of a 2014 withdrawal by foreign combat troops.

'A part of their Al Farooq spring offensive operation is ... to close schools.

'By poisoning girls they want to create fear. They try to make families not send their children to school,' NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said. Read More