April 26th, 2010
07:33 AM ET

Taliban suspected of sickening female students

Afghan authorities will investigate the sudden illness of students and staff at three schools in the past week in northern Afghanistan, the Afghan Human Independent Rights Commission said on Sunday. Local doctors suggested the Taliban may be the perpetrators of possible poison attacks. 

"During the last seven days three cases of poisoning [have] occurred in Kunduz Province," said Syed Karim Talash, the director of the commission office in the province.

At least 88 girls and teachers became ill in separate cases at three girls' schools.

The cause of the illnesses was not known, but Talash said poison gas was suspected.

"It is really big concern for us, and big concern for the family of the girls," Talash said.

Dr. Mohammad Qasam Khamoosh, who treated girls from two schools, said "unknown gases" were responsible for the mass illnesses.

These are "terrorist activities against education in the country," he said.

Girls were not allowed to attend school during the Taliban's rule. Girls' schools have been open in the region since 2001.

Khamoosh said authorities were able to gather a sample of the gas, which has been sent off for testing.

Kunduz province has seen a drastic influx in terrorist activity, particularly by the group known as Hizb-e-Islami, led by the notorious leader Gulbudeen Hekmatyar. It's an independent group that has increasingly worked under the Taliban umbrella in recent years.

CNN's Atia Abawi and journalist Muhib Habibi contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Taliban
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Haroun Eikram

    actually richard we do a lot and we don't do it just to please some god we do it because we care about people and im not saying that they are all evil ( except those child molesters) just stupid and you yourself cant get your nose out of the bible to notice things that other groups of people are doing

    April 27, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Richard B

    Syed, well said. The Taliban are evil people. Fortunatley, not all religous people are evil – and despite Robert's opinion Christians are not slaves, quite the opposite. In my community all the soup kitchens are run by religous groups, the homes for battered women are run by religous groups. Most medical outreach to poor countries is performed by religous organizations. I am waitng for the atheists to step up to the plate, but it isn't happening.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. Robert


    April 27, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Syed

    Taliban are crazy barbaric evil twisted people. They have nothing to do with the religion of Islam. Please don't be ignorant and understand the reality.

    April 27, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jim Smith

    Hekmatyar is a low life, and always has been, regardless of your religious orientation. There was a time when he had no affiliation with the Taliban, and he was a piece of dirt then too. Don't lump this jerk and his thugs into the company of any other group, and don't make this thing about religion. These guys will gladly kill anyone, regardless of their religion.

    April 26, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michael

    Idiots in the Taliban. Cowards.

    April 26, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JustMyThoughts

    I hope they catch the vermin responsible for this and publicly draw and quarter them in the middle of a taliban training camp.

    April 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bailoutsos

    About 2o years ago this would have been classified information under the Reagan/Cheney CIA and America never would have heard about it because the Taliban were America's allies.

    April 26, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    Atheist and Davec,

    Your disbelief in religion is certainly your right, at least here in America, but you condemn all religion as if atheists and non-believers never do wrong. Watch the video posted on CNN of New Yorkers watching as a good samaritan dies of stab wounds on the street and try and convince yourself that a source of a little morality and human kindness training is not needed in this world. Certainly a lot of bad has been done in the name of religion, but a lot of good has as well.


    April 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kuk

    Raping boys is pretty comonplace in the Stan countries – watch some disovery channel, its not just catholic priests, its all of afganistan, iraq, iran, etc.

    April 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Daniel-2

    I too read about the Taliban doing this,but just how true is it? No one knows,but the right-wing media will do everything they can to make the Taliban look guilty,of course.And most of the American public wants it to be that way,but we'll never know.

    April 26, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jack W

    Knowledge is power. Deny knowledge, deny power.

    April 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tomster

    Chuckster, I agree. The problem is, you cant just point one out in a crowd. What about the ones who are supporting the Taliban only because they dont want their families killed. Easier said, than done my friend......

    April 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Davec

    Taliban: Religion run amok. Wake up people, it's the year 2010 and time to stop believing in a magic man who lives in the sky, reads your mind 24/7, and can give you eternal bliss or eternal hell. You are an animal – a thinking animal – but an animal nevertheless. Now stop this silly praying to an imaginary being and live your one and only life.

    April 26, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chuckster

    What kind of low life POS would poison kids???? This should be reason enough to go all out and announce "OPEN SEASON" on the Taliban. These people are COCKROACHES who deserve nothing more than DEATH!!!!!

    April 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Iraq Paramedic

    And the Taliban wonder why the rest of the world, at least the human civilized world, wants then gone. They attack little girls & teach their young boys this stuff. I am a christian & try to live by GOD's word but, men like the Taliban & those who follow their ways are not men but demons in flesh that are perverting the words GOD gave to Ishmael. GOD said through his son JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth that who ever harms the children & keeps them from coming to him it will be better for that man to tie a rope around his neck & jump into the deep ocean than what GOD has prepared for him in hell. The great war Ezekeil & John spoke of is close at hand.
    May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 26, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  17. Vivian Hansten, Sonora CA

    This shows us the importance of the schools. If the Taliban are so afraid of education of girls, we can see that the schools are our best weapon against them.

    April 26, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |