Afghan schoolgirls poisoned, again

Second attack in as many months hits northeastern province of Takhar

Last month, almost 200 children and adults (all female) were poisoned at a school in northeastern Afghanistan. Islamist insurgents were held responsible for the contamination of the school’s water supply, which resulted in a number of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, headaches and loss of consciouness. The poisonings, according to CNN, were allegedly carried out as part of a campaign against the education of women.

This week, it has emerged that another, similar, attack has taken place at a school in the northeastern province of Takhar. In this instance, more than 70 girls have been affected, many of whom remain in hospital care for further examination. The symptoms reported were identical to those experienced after the previous attack; the methodology used to carry out the attack differed however, with a report from the BBC suggesting that the posion was 'sprayed' into the girls' classroom.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the same BBC report goes on to quote a police spokesman who suggests that the Taliban are responsible as part of their wider effort to spread fear and garner political support in the region.

The attack follows what are said to be numerous unreported attacks throughout the country. Testing is currently being carried out in Kabul to determine the particular type of poison used.

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