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150 Afghan Girls Poisoned For Attending School

150 Afghan Girls Poisoned For Attending School

What a tragic, depressing story.

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. There are now more than a million Afghan girls attending schools throughout the country. 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.

Victims Of Poison Gas

In 2010, the Afghan Ministry of Public Health found that the cases of mass sickness at girls’ schools across Afghanistan over the previous two years were caused by poison gas.  There were no fatalities, and no one claimed responsibility for the attacks, but when blood from victims of the mass attacks was tested, it was found to contain toxic compounds.

And now water is being poisoned.

From Reuters:

“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.

Acid Thrown In Faces Of Women And Girls

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 hardline Islamists have thrown in the faces of women and girls while they were walking to school.

Even though the Taliban are not officially in power, their muscle still manifests in targeted attacks on school buildings. School buildings are often sites of bomb attacks in Afghanistan because the Taliban works to create chaos and understands that destroying education centers is paramount to disrupting government and progress.

And yet, for the sake of these girls, the Afghan government needs to make their safety a priority. Everyone has the right to access their education without fear.

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Photo Credit: cordelia_persen

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241 comments

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7:07AM PDT on Aug 18, 2013

Just plain and simple inhumanity towards girls by poorly educated males who need more education on how to be more kindly and respectful of their religion which does not teach all this murderous hateful crap. No religion does and if it does, it's time to start bailing out. Why they are so ignorant and wanting to poison school girls is a conundrum of baffling proportions. I fail to understand and never will and my heart aches for these poor girls and how they are treated.
Peace and Love.

9:58AM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

@ Sharon S: Hardly. The god of the bible has done much to change and tell others what to do

Didn't this god "harden Pharaoh's heart which then led to death and so much more for the Egyptians?

Didn't this god flood the earth to "destroy evil, including women, children and if you think a fetus is a person, unborn babies yet still let evil on the boat (Mark of Hamm) and felt bad afterwards

Sorry, but this "freewill" is an illusion. Our sexual orientation is not a choice, yet one is punished for it. The whole idea of freewill is bunch as our brain makes the decision 5 to 10 seconds before we act on it.

IOW, this god, if real and my money is on no god is real (not saying there are no gods but the ones people have made up here on earth aka all of them are almost certainly bunk) sets people up to punish them

What a douche bag

9:37AM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

John D. asks, "And where does a beneficent God slot in with all this?"

The answer to this is: Humans have been given free will (by our Creator) to choose either the higher or the lower path. Then (God) steps aside and lets us do our thing. People can swear allegiance to Allah or God endlessly, but if they continue to make the choice for the lesser path, they will continue to bring hurt and harm and bloodshed and terror to others.

4:17PM PDT on Jul 24, 2013

"Woman is the n***** of the world".
-John Lennon

8:03AM PDT on Jul 24, 2013

So horrible.

7:47AM PDT on Jun 23, 2013

:(

8:29AM PDT on Jun 22, 2013

This is so sad. I wish most kids here would love school as much as they do over there!

9:48AM PDT on Jun 20, 2013

This is so horrible.

1:00AM PDT on Jun 18, 2013

Horrible

9:57PM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

This is unacceptable !

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