Afghan girls poisoned in anti-school attack

2012-05-23 17:06

Taliqan - More than 120 schoolgirls and three teachers have been poisoned in the second attack in as many months blamed on conservative radicals in the country's north, Afghan police and education officials said on Wednesday.

The attack occurred in Takhar province where police said that radicals opposed to education of women and girls had used an unidentified toxic powder to contaminate the air in classrooms. Scores of students were left unconscious.

Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), says the Taliban appear intent on closing schools ahead of a 2014 withdrawal by foreign combat troops.

"A part of their Al Farooq spring offensive operation is ... to close schools. By poisoning girls they want to create fear. They try to make families not send their children to school," NDS spokesperson Lutfullah Mashal said.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Education said last week that 550 schools in 11 provinces where the Taliban have strong support had been closed down by insurgents.

Last month, 150 schoolgirls were poisoned in Takhar province after they drank contaminated water.

Since 2001 when the Taliban were toppled from power by US-backed Afghan forces, females have returned to schools, especially in the capital Kabul. They were previously banned from work and education.

But there are still periodic attacks against students, teachers and school buildings, usually in the more conservative south and east of the country, from where the Taliban insurgency draws most of its support.

  • Michael - 2012-05-23 17:21

    Yes deprive their brains and have them mope their way through their

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-23 17:26

    This is what the Taliban and Al-Quaida want: women to be uneducated and indentured to men. The US and freer world are standing for the rights of women in Afghanistan. Today 2.5 million girls are at school in Afghanistan. Ten years ago the number was zero. Anyone who opposes this is wrong and should themselves be opposed.

  • Shirley Van Heerden - 2012-05-23 17:42

    coo-coo! coo-coo!! This is whack! So women have no brains shoul be enslaved by Islam? I'm not anti-Islam, but these narrow minded radicals give the Islamic faith a very bad reputation.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-23 18:11

    This is Islam, now moan, and tell me differently.

      jomardl - 2012-05-23 18:20

      Uhm... There's primary school in my neighbourhood and scores of little muslim schoolgirls make their way past my house every morning. That is also Islam.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-05-23 18:39

    These folk give religion a bad name. They seem to be driven by a completely distorted religiosity.

  • Ameenah - 2012-05-23 18:41

    This is not Islam! This is cultural! Women used to run universities, our greatest historians where women, all of you Islam haters do a little research! The acid attacks on us, honour killings etc its cultural crimes

  • Ameenah - 2012-05-23 18:44

    Women in Islam are allowed to work, be educated, be business women. Our Prophets one wife was a successful business lady, another one sewed leather to sell for charity. These people take culture and twist it

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-23 18:54

      "These people" meaning Al-Quaida, the Taliban, and unelected chauvinistic regimes such as the Iranian regime.

      Henry - 2012-05-24 08:35

      Aisha(prophets wife) was 9 years old when they married and had sexual relations. The prophet was over 50 years of age then. Respect for woman huh? Couldn't even respect a female child.

      Fidel - 2012-05-24 08:42

      Henry, you cannot compare today's morality with ancient values. Incest was an acceptable practice in Europe among its royalty just a mere 100 years ago.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-24 08:46

      Stoning women to death is an accepted practice today in fundamentalist regions of the world that you are protecting and enabling. The Iranian regime itself supports it. Are you going to say ANYTHING about this, Fidel, or only tour usual mindless anti-US, anti-European rhetoric?

      Fidel - 2012-05-24 09:19

      This is what happens when you have a bunch of people preaching something archaic without letting it evolve for the current generation. I am against religious fundamentalism of all kinds, be it Christian, Zionist or Islam.

  • Bhai - 2012-05-24 00:07

    People must study the teachings of Islam and diffreciate between culture ,common practice and what Islam actually teaches. This is a cultural rather then a religious Islamic practice

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