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Afghan Schoolgirls Poisoned By Drinking Water

Girls walk home from school in Konduz Province. When it ruled Afghanistan, the Taliban banned girls from attending school.
Afghan officials say around 150 girls at a school in northern Afghanistan have become ill after drinking poisoned water.

Jan Mohammad Nabizada, a spokesman for the education department in Takhar Province, accused "those who oppose girls' education" of deliberately contaminating the water at the Naswan Markazi girls high school in the town of Rustaq.

Health officials said some of the 150 girls, who suffered from headaches and vomiting, were in critical condition, while others were able to go home after hospital treatment.

A local Taliban commander said denied involvement in the incident, adding that the group did not target children.

The Taliban regime ousted by the U.S.-led coalition in 2001 had prevented Afghan girls from attending school.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP