Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2012 – CNN

At least 140 Afghan schoolgirls and female teachers were admitted to a local hospital Tuesday after drinking poisoned water, said local health officials, who blamed the act on extremists opposed to women’s education.

The victims range in age from 14 to 30 and were taken to a hospital in Afghanistan’s northeastern Takhar province after their school’s water tank was contaminated, according to provincial health department director Dr. Hafizullah Safi. Local officials said they are investigating the incident at the Rostaq district school and are searching for the perpetrators.

“It is the work of those who are against girls’ education and peace and stability in Afghanistan,” district administrator Malem Hussain said.

In 2010, more than 100 schoolgirls and teachers were sickened in a series of similar poisonings. No deaths were reported, but more than half the victims partially lost consciousness, while others suffered dizziness and vomiting.

“Looking at the health condition of these girls, I can definitely say that their water was contaminated by some sort of poison,” Safi said. “But we don’t know yet what was the water exactly contaminated with.”

Local officials said they are investigating the incident at the Rostaq district school and are searching for the perpetrators.

“It is the work of those who are against girls’ education and peace and stability in Afghanistan,” district administrator Malem Hussain said.

In 2010, more than 100 schoolgirls and teachers were sickened in a series of similar poisonings.

(Excerpt) Read more at edition.cnn.com


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