Afghan schoolgirls ‘poisoned by Taliban’ Nov 08, Jan 09, May 12,

Add ACID attacks and you get the fraud drug Taliban making Afghans a laughing stock of world.

Toxic powder used to contaminate air in girls’ classrooms, leaving scores of students unconscious in Takhar province.
Last Modified: 24 May 2012 08:05

Since 2001, three million school-aged girls have returned to school [GALLO/GETTY]
More than 120 schoolgirls and three teachers have been poisoned in the second attack in as many months in Afghanistan blamed on conservative radicals in the country’s north, Afghan police and education officials have said.

The attack occurred on Wednesday in Takhar province where police said the Taliban, who are opposed to education of women and girls, had used an unidentified toxic powder to contaminate the air in classrooms, leaving scores of students unconscious.

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

From the perspective of one neighbourhood in Herat

“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 spokesman 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.

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

Since 2001, when the Taliban were toppled from power by US-backed Afghan forces, three million school-aged girls have returned to school.

Women were previously banned from work and education under Taliban rule.

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

Another mass poisoning in Afghanistan, as women flee fearing Taliban

Published: 30 May, 2012, 01:26

Two Afghan schoolgirls lie on a bed in a hospital in Kabul, as they receive treatment for suspected poisoning at their school. (AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez)

Two Afghan schoolgirls lie on a bed in a hospital in Kabul, as they receive treatment for suspected poisoning at their school. (AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez)

TAGS: ChildrenHealthAccidentAfghanistan

 

Some 160 schoolgirls are suspected to have been poisoned in the north-eastern Afghan province of Takhar. This comes less than a week after another similar case was blamed on the Taliban, that have repeatedly spoken out against female education.

There are suspicions that the classrooms had been sprayed with a toxic material before the girls entered, police said. They suspect Taliban to be behind the incident.

Last week 120 girls were sent to hospital after a similar suspected poisoning. Later in the week the Taliban denied any involvement in that case.

Many fear that the international troop withdrawal in 2014 may put Afghanistan back into the hands of the Taliban and result in the further violation of women’s rights and a ban on education.

Between 1996 and 2001 when the Taliban was in power the movement banned school education for girls in the country.

NGOs active in Afghanistan say many young women are leaving the country fearing the return of Taliban rule.

They see no future for themselves in Afghanistan so the bright ones are seeking scholarships or work abroad,” Selay Ghaffar, from the Kabul-based NGO Humanitarian Assistance told Guardian.

Afghan officials confirm that the fears of a Taliban return make women consider leaving the country to avoid possible violence and rights deprivation.

The government and the Taliban ignore women’s rights in their negotiations, said Guhramaana Kakar, a gender adviser to President Hamid Karzai.

Kakar revealed that according to a recent survey 86% of Afghan women were fearful of a return to Taliban-style rule and one in five worried about the education of their daughters.

Women want the progress that has been made over the past 10 years to continue, but they are being kept away from the political processes,” Kakar declared asserting that if more women were allowed into the provincial councils, this would show the Taliban that they cannot reverse 10 years of women’s advancements.

Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack

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By Mohammad Hamid

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan | Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:44am EDT

(Reuters) – About 150 Afghan schoolgirls were poisoned on Tuesday after drinking contaminated water at a high school in the country’s north, officials said, blaming it on conservative radicals opposed to female education.

Since the 2001 toppling of the Taliban, which banned education for women and girls, females have returned to schools, especially in Kabul.

But periodic attacks still occur against girls, teachers and their school buildings, usually in the more conservative south and east of the country, from where the Taliban insurgency draws most support.

“We are 100 percent sure that the water they drunk inside their classes was poisoned. This is either the work of those who are against girls’ education or irresponsible armed individuals,” said Jan Mohammad Nabizada, a spokesman for education department in northern Takhar province.

Some of the 150 girls, who suffered from headaches and vomiting, were in critical condition, while others were able to go home after treatment in hospital, the officials said.

They said they knew the water had been poisoned because a larger tank used to fill the affected water jugs was not contaminated.

“This is not a natural illness. It’s an intentional act to poison schoolgirls,” said Haffizullah Safi, head of Takhar’s public health department.

None of the officials blamed any particular group for the attack, fearing retribution from anyone named.

The Afghan government said last year that the Taliban, which has been trying to adopt a more moderate face to advance exploratory peace talks, had dropped its opposition to female education.

But the insurgency has never stated that explicitly and in the past acid has been thrown in the faces of women and girls by hardline Islamists while walking to school.

Education for women was outlawed by the Taliban government from 1996-2001 as un-Islamic.

(Reporting by Mohammad Hamid; Writing by Jack Kimball, Editing by Rob Taylor and Sanjeev Miglani)

 

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