Approximately 150 Afghan girls drank poisoned water on Tuesday at a school in the northern Takhar province. Afghan officials said that conservative radicals who oppose girls’ education are to blame for the poisoning, though they would not name a specific group.
A spokesman for the education department of Takhar, Jan Mohammad Nabizada, said, “We are 100 percent sure that the water they drank inside their classes was poisoned. This is either the work of those who are against girls’ education or irresponsible armed individuals.”
The public health department said the tank that held the contaminated water was not affected, providing evidence that the poisoned water could not be explained by natural causes. Some of the affected girls suffered from headaches and vomiting and they are listed in critical condition. Others were treated and released.
CBS News 4/17/12; Reuters 4/17/12