Poison attack on schoolgirls in Afghanistan

London: More than 120 schoolgirls and three teachers were rushed to a hospital in a north Afghanistan town following a suspected poison attack blamed on Taliban.

Most of the girls have been discharged but 30 – including three female teachers – are still being treated in the hospital in Takhar province, BBC quoted officials as saying. This was second such attack in the area, indicating that the radical group was still continuing with bias against women.

The country`s security agencies warned that the Taliban was pressing ahead with its campaign to close girl schools ahead of withdrawal of US and NATO forces in 2014.

Afghan Education Ministry has said nearly 600 schools have been closed in the country`s 11 provinces, where Taliban still holds sway.

Police said preliminary evidence suggested that poisonous materials had been sprayed in classrooms at Bibi Haji school in the province. The 125 victims, who include girls as young as 10, were taken to hospital yesterday after complaining of nausea, headaches and dizziness.

Police spokesman Khalilullah Aseer said he believed Taliban insurgents were trying to spread fear by poisoning the schoolgirls. Blood samples have been sent to Kabul for further tests. Some officials have suggested that the suspected poisoning was made worse because of mass hysteria among school pupils in the aftermath of the attack.

In April, more than 100 schoolgirls from Takhar were taken to hospital after drinking water at their school that was suspected to be poisoned.