Accessibility links

Breaking News

More Than 50 Afghan Schoolgirls Hospitalized For Suspected Poisoning

An Afghan school girl receives medical treatment at a local hospital after being admitted for symptoms of poisoning. (illustrative photo from a previous Afghan poisoning incident in May 2017), in Herat, September 3, 2015

Dozens of schoolgirls have been sickened at a high school in the southern Afghan province of Helmand in what officials suspect is a case of group poisoning.

Dawood Shah Safari, head of the provincial education department, told RFE/RL that a total of 52 girls were transferred on April 2 to a hospital in Helmand Province’s capital, Lashkar Gah.

Dr. Nisar Ahmad Barak said the girls were admitted at his hospital with headaches and vomiting, adding that they were now in stable condition and receiving treatment.

It was not clear what type of poisoning may have been involved in the incident.

The girls were said to be from 10th and 11th grade at Lashkar Gah's Central Girls School.

Police said officers and experts had been dispatched to the area to investigate the incident.

Most of Helmand Province is under the control of the Taliban who oppose the education of girls.

The Western-backed government in Kabul has been struggling to fend off the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most NATO troops in 2014.

With reporting by AP and Pajhwok

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi

    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi is one of the most popular and trusted media outlets in Afghanistan. Nearly half of the country's adult audience accesses Azadi's reporting on a weekly basis.