Hundreds of schoolgirls poisoned in Jawzjan

Posted on July 2, 2012

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Sajia, a 7th grade student, said they were attending class when they felt an unknown strange smell

By Mohammad Jan Tamkin

Female students poisoned in Jawzjan
Photo: PAN

Nearly 260 schoolgirls were poisoned in Shiberghan city, the capital of northern Jawzjan province, on Monday, officials said.

After falling sick, the students of Masrabad School were rushed to the provincial civil hospital and Afghan-Turk hospital, police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Aziz Ghairat told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The civil hospital director Dr. Mirwais Amini said the girls were under treatment and their condition was stable. He said it was yet to be found what kind of substance had been used.

Sajia, a 7th grade student, said they were attending class when they felt an unknown strange smell. “I suddenly covered my mouth and nose with hands when some classmates fell to the ground unconscious,” she said.

Shah Nazar, whose two daughters and a daughter-in-law were among the victims, blamed the enemies of peace and education for poisoning girls.

Education Director Abdul Hai Yashin said about 1,000 girls were studying in the school, saying the incident was the first of its kind taking place in Jawzjan.

Stressing the need for precautionary measures, he said girls would be searched before entering school after the incident and security officials would be asked to increase patrols near schools.

Separately, another 30 girl students of the Altayeban School were poisoned in the Gosfandi village of northern Sar-i-Pul province on Monday, the district police chief said

St. Cap. Satar said the girls were evacuated to a district health clinic and there condition was reported to be stable. He added though no arrest could be made in connection with the incident, police had launched their investigation.

The incidents of poisoning schoolgirls beginning two years ago have recently increased.

Over the past two months, about 1,500 students, most of them females, were poisoned in Kabul, Takhar, Khost, Bamyan, Balkh and Sar-i-Pul provinces.

Sixteen people had so far been detained in connection with the cases.

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