According to a local education official in Afghanistan, approximately 80 girls were poisoned and subsequently admitted to the hospital due to two distinct attacks that occurred at their primary school over the weekend.
The head of the provincial education department in northern Afghanistan, Mohammad Rahmani, revealed that a series of poisonings took place in the Sangcharak district. As reported by Sky News, Rahmani stated that the person responsible for orchestrating the poisonings had a personal vendetta, although further details were not provided. The disclosure by the Afghan education official specified that 60 students from Naswan-e-Kabod Aab school and 17 others from Naswan-e-Faizabad school fell victim to the poisoning.
This incident is believed to be the first of its kind since the Taliban seized power in August 2021 and imposed severe restrictions on the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls. Under Taliban rule, girls are forbidden from pursuing education beyond the sixth grade, including higher education at universities, and women face numerous limitations, including restricted employment opportunities and limited access to public spaces.
While some girls still have access to schools, hundreds of thousands of girls and young women live in a state of fear and oppression since the Taliban takeover. Rahmani stated that the two targeted primary schools were situated in close proximity to each other and were attacked consecutively. The affected students were promptly transferred to hospitals, and Rahmani assured that they are now in stable condition.
The education department is currently conducting an investigation into the incidents. Preliminary findings indicate that an individual harboring animosity paid a third party to carry out the attacks. However, Rahmani did not disclose any information regarding the method of poisoning, the nature of the victims’ injuries, or their specific ages, except mentioning that they were enrolled in grades one to six.