Three Hundred Afghan Girls Hospitalized Amid Suspected Taliban Attacks

More than 300 Afghan girls were hospitalized amid several suspected Taliban attacks. Authorities confirmed the girls, who are between the ages of 9 and 18, were hurt in three separate incidents. However, the three incidents were eventually linked, as the victims reportedly inhaled a mysterious gas, which was later determined to be toxic.

On Monday, 140 female students fell ill after a questionable gas was detected inside their school building. On Wednesday, 68 others were sickened in a similar incident at the same school.

As reported by CNN, 115 other girls were transported to the Herat Regional Hospital on Thursday — after their school was also struck with a mysterious gas.

Authorities confirmed more than 300 Afghan girls were hospitalized this week as a result of inhaling toxic fumes at school. The Daily Mail reports Taliban militants are suspected in the attacks.

As the Islamist group prohibits females from seeking an education outside the home, they are suspected in numerous attacks against young girls, who were all attending school.

Between 2009 and 2012, the United Nations confirmed more than 1,000 unprovoked attacks against schoolchildren in Afghanistan. A majority of the violence was targeted toward female students and their teachers. The UN Mission in Afghanistan determined a “vast majority” of the attacks were carried out by “anti-government groups” — which include the Taliban.

In addition to using poison gas, militant groups have been blamed for poisoning school water supplies, throwing acid in students’ faces, using suicide bombers, and destroying school buildings.

Unfortunately, the attacks have discouraged some Afghan girls from pursuing an education.

In addition to the loss of buildings, and teachers, many students are simply unwilling to risk their lives for an education.

Deputy Governor Aseeluddin Jami said this week’s attacks were likely deliberate. However, he stopped short of blaming a specific militant group.

Authorities confirmed they are in the process of investigating the poisonous gas attacks. Unfortunately, the existence of poisonous gas is often difficult to prove.

Between 2009 and 2012, authorities reported numerous suspected poisonous gas attacks at Afghanistan schools.

In 2009, nearly 100 girls were hospitalized, and three fell into comas, following a suspected gas attack. One year later, a similar incident “caused 1,500 girls to miss classes at Khadeja-tul Kubra high school.”

Unfortunately, “no scientific evidence has been found” to prove the children were victims of toxic gas attacks.

Although 300 Afghan girls were hospitalized this week, there were no reported deaths.

[Image via Majid Saeedi / Getty Images]