By Biodun Busari
A local education official in Afghanistan said nearly 80 girls were poisoned and hospitalised in two separate attacks at their primary school on Saturday and Sunday.
The head of the provincial education department, Mohammad Rahmani said the poisonings occurred in Sangcharak district, northern Afghanistan.
Rahmani said the person who orchestrated the poisoning had a personal grudge but did not elaborate, according to Sky News.
The Afghan education official disclosed that 60 students were poisoned in Naswan-e-Kabod Aab school and 17 others poisoned in Naswan-e-Faizabad school.
It was thought to be the first time this kind of assault happened since the Taliban grabbed power in August 2021 and began their crackdown on the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls.
Girls have been prohibited from education beyond sixth grade, including university, and women are barred from most jobs and public spaces.
Since the ban on women’s education, girls have access to schools, while hundreds of thousands of girls and young women are living in fear and repression since the Taliban takeover.
“Both primary schools are near to each other and were targeted one after the other,” Rahmani said. “We shifted the students to the hospital and now they are all fine.”
The department’s investigation is ongoing and initial inquiries show that someone with a grudge paid a third party to carry out the attacks, Rahmani said.
However, he offered no information on how the girls were poisoned or the nature of their injuries and did not give their ages but said they were in grades one to six.