Kabul [Afghanistan], June 7 (ANI): The United Nations, civil rights advocates, and political leaders from all across the globe have put forward their opinions about the alleged poisoning of female students in Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan, reported TOLOnews.
Concerned over "an alleged incident...in which approximately 80 girls and women fell ill in two schools in Sanchark District, in the north of Afghanistan," the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund stated, according to the Afghan news agency.
In order to keep girls and women safe, UNICEF said it was relying on the "de facto authorities to investigate this incident thoroughly, to do everything possible to keep girls and women safe, and, if there is foul play, to hold the perpetrators accountable."Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, expressed outrage over the incident and advocated more security on Twitter.
"I hope the interim government pays particular attention to the security of educational centers and schools because the prosperity of a society is dependent on the arms of the educated youth," he said, according to TOLOnews.
In a separate statement, condemning the incident, Nabila Massrali, the spokeswoman for foreign affairs and security policy for the European Union, expressed concern over the "horrible news of poisonings" that occurred at more than 60 girls' schools in northern Afghanistan.
According to their duty under international law to safeguard the populace, the de facto authorities must investigate this horrific crime, the statement stated.
An education official in Afghanistan said almost 80 girls were hospitalised after being poisoned at schools, Fox News said.
According to reports, the incidents happened over Saturday and Sunday in the province of Sar-e-Pul in the north.
Mohammad Rahmani, the director of the provincial department of education, said the poisoning had occurred in the Sangcharak district among female pupils in grades 1 through 6.
He said that 60 children at Naswan-e-Kabod Aab School and 17 more at Naswan-e-Faizabad School had been poisoned, Fox News reported.
"Both primary schools are near to each other and were targeted one after the other," he said, adding, "We shifted the students to the hospital and now they are all fine."The department's investigation is ongoing and initial inquiries show that someone with a grudge paid a third party to carry out the attacks, Rahmani said, without sharing further details. He gave no information on how the girls were poisoned or the nature of their injuries, according to Fox News.
It is thought to be the first time this kind of assault has happened since the Taliban swept to power in August 2021 and began their crackdown on the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls.
Girls are banned from education beyond sixth grade, including university, and women are barred from most jobs and public spaces Fox News reported. The attack serves as a reminder of a wave of poisonings in neighbouring Iran targeting school-age girls, dating back to November. Thousands of students said they were sickened by noxious fumes in the incidents. (ANI)