The European Union urged the Afghan authorities to investigate the “appalling” poisoning of 77 girls in schools

A suspected poisoned Afghan girl receives treatment at a hospital in the northern province of Sar-e-Pul on June 5, 2023 (AP Photo) (Uncredited/)

The European Union urged the Afghan authorities on Tuesday to investigate the poisoning of elementary school girls in the north of the country when they were hospitalized 77 girls.

Two attacks took place on Saturday and Sunday in Sar-e-Pul province, local authorities said.

Sixty schoolgirls were poisoned at Naswan-e-Kabod Aab school and another 17 at Naswan-e-Faizabadsaid the head of the provincial education department, Mohammad Rahmani. He said the attacks occurred at the start of the school day and the girls suffered from vomiting, asthma, vertigo and headaches.

Rahmani said the department’s initial investigation revealed that the person who planned the poisonings did so out of personal grudge and paid a third party to carry out the attacks. She did not say what kind of substance was used to poison the girls, and local authorities have given no further information.

Authorities in Kabul were not available to comment on the EU inquiry request.

“Our initial investigations show that the perpetrators entered the schools at night and they sprayed poison in the classrooms. Efforts are continuing, but so far, the perpetrators have not been apprehended,” he told the news agency. EFE Sar-e-Pul police spokesman Din Mohammad Nazari.

The EU said in a statement that it is a “atrocious crime that the de facto authorities must investigate” in accordance with their obligations to protect the population under international law.

File photo: Afghan girls attend their classroom on the first day of the new school year, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Kabul (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
File photo: Several Afghan girls attend their classroom on the first day of the new school year, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Kabul (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi) (Ebrahim Noroozi/)

“The right to education is the human right of all children everywhere. Schools must be safe for all children.”

The Taliban government, which limited the Afghan women’s rights of all ages to take power after the departure of the United States and NATO in 2021, has not made any statements.

Girls’ education is only allowed up to the sixth grade. Universities, most jobs and public spaces are closed to women.

Attacks against female students are a constant in Afghanistan, which in recent years has seen multiple cases of poisoning or poisoning of classrooms with chemicals by groups that have traditionally opposed the education of Afghan girls and adolescents.

With information from AP and EFE

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