Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Dozens Of Afghan Policemen Reportedly Poisoned

Officials said more than 40 police officers have been poisoned in a police academy in southern Afghanistan.

Helmand's provincial government spokesman Dawood Ahmadi said the officers felt headaches and began vomiting after having breakfast in Lashkargah police academy on June 25.

He said they were taken to a military hospital where one of the officers was in critical condition, while the others were recovering.

Ahmadi said an investigation was underway to determine the cause.

The incident is considered the latest in similar incidents in northern and southeastern Afghan provinces where school girls were the main victims of poisoning.

Meanwhile, in the central province of Oruzgan, provincial government spokesman, Abdullah Emat, said a roadside bomb attack killed six police officers traveling in a vehicle through Chora district late on June 24.

Based on reporting by dpa, BBC Pashto, AFP, and AP
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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
June 26, 2012 10:44
food poisoning and the intentional application of poison used as a method of assassination, execution, etc. are not the same if the dimension of intention cannot be identified in the case of the food poisoning.
would be interesting to know whether this case and the recent one involving students were attacks destined to cause maximum damage or whether the food poisoning can be related to poor health conditions and negligence.
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
June 28, 2012 06:14
A good question, Anonymous. Our correspondent incorrectly said: "... school girls were the main victims of poisoning."

That is not the Afghan government's view. An Afghan education ministry spokesman, Abdul Saboor Ghufrani, has said:

"There have been a number of suspected poisoning cases of schoolgirls in Takhar province recently, but initial investigation by health and security teams in the area have failed to detect traces of any poison".

"In some cases doctors in the area have reported they suspect a psychological cause behind these incidents, but we cannot yet definitely rule out the possibility of a deliberate attempt by some group to sicken our students."

Local officials regularly accuse Taliban insurgents, who banned schooling for girls while in power from 1996 to 2001, of poisoning school wells or using "gas" or "toxic powder" against the girls.

But with no physical cause established, Robert Bartholomew, a sociologist and author specialising in the field, said the poisoning scares had "all the earmarks of mass psychogenic illness, also known as mass hysteria".

The tell-tale signs include the fact that most victims are girls, the absence of a toxic agent, the rapid onset of and recovery from symptoms, and anxiety generated by a wartime backdrop, he said.

He said there was a history of similar cases in combat zones, listing examples from the Palestinian territories in 1983 to Soviet Georgia in 1989 and Kosovo in 1990.

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