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Eight Suspects Arrested Over Afghan Schoolgirls' Poisoning

  • RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

A schoolgirl receives treatment at a hospital after being poisoned in Takhar Province on May 23.

A schoolgirl receives treatment at a hospital after being poisoned in Takhar Province on May 23.

A security official in Afghanistan’s northern Takhar Province says eight suspects have been arrested over alleged links to the recent poisoning of schoolgirls.

The official told RFE/RL on June 5 that preliminary investigations pointed to the detained suspects having links with Taliban fighters and the militant Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

Health officials in Takhar have said some 800 schoolgirls recently fell ill after allegedly inhaling poisonous gas that was released at six schools in the region.

The Taliban has denied any involvement in attacks on schools and demanded punishment for those responsible for the gas attacks.

In 1996-2001, when it held power over most of Afghanistan, the Taliban barred girls from attending schools, deeming female school attendance un-Islamic.

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