In a recent effort to prevent their attendance at school, the Taliban poisoned nearly 150 Afghan schoolgirls, marking just the latest atrocity in a litany of barbaric acts the Islamist terror group continues to inflict upon the women and girls of Afghanistan.
The afflicted girls — all of whom suffered severe nausea, headaches, and dizziness — had become poisoned after drinking contaminated water from jugs in their classrooms at their high school in Afghanistan’s northern province of Takhar. Many of the students were taken to a local hospital where some were listed in critical condition.
Fearing retribution, some school officials were initially reluctant to assign blame to any particular group for the chemical attack, with one simply saying, “This is either the work of those who are against girls’ education or irresponsible armed individuals.”
However, Afghan police investigators were somewhat more conclusive stating that they “strongly suspected” a water supply truck at the girls’ school had been poisoned by Taliban insurgents as “an intentional act to poison schoolgirls.”
Of course, it doesn’t take too much investigative legwork to confirm Taliban culpability in crafting such a heinous plot given the terror group’s historical fondness for using poison on Afghan schoolgirls.
Specifically, Afghan Education Ministry officials have stated that the Taliban was behind at least 17 poison-gas attacks on girls’ schools in Afghanistan in 2010, six of which took place in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Those 2010 attacks included poison spray being used on four girls’ schools in Kanduz, attacks which hospitalized over fifty teenage girls; a gas poisoning of a girls’ high school in Kabul which required the hospitalization of 46 students and nine teachers; and a poison spray attack on a girls’ school in the northern province of Sar-e-Pul that hospitalized 20 students.
Now, the latest chemical poisoning in Takhar comes only weeks after Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a ceremony marking the start of Afghanistan’s school year had urged insurgent Islamist groups not to attack teachers and school children, saying that the country could only develop through the “spread of education.”
For Afghan girls, those educational opportunities have been growing significantly since the ouster of the Taliban from power in 2001 under whose rule women and girls were banned from going to school on the grounds that it was un-Islamic.
Instead, the Taliban subjected Afghan women to a terrifying Sharia nightmare that, among other things, forbade them from working outside the home or even leaving their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative. Failure to abide by these restrictions resulted in public whippings, beatings or stoning.
However, once freed from the Taliban yoke, the enactment of a national Afghan campaign to expand educational opportunities for women has driven school enrollment from several thousand girls in 2002 to more than 2.7 million girls in 2011.
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