Afghan Schoolgirls Sickened in 3rd Gas Attack

School attack is like 2 previous ones
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 12, 2009 12:17 PM CDT
An Afghan schoolgirl recovers in a hospital after she felt sick yesterday.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
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(Newser) – Nearly 100 girls and six teachers are hospitalized in Afghanistan after an apparent gas attack on their school, the third such incident in the region recently. Five girls slipped briefly into a coma, but all are safely recovering after a poisoning that was likely the work of Taliban supporters who oppose girls' education, a security official tells Reuters.

Officials are awaiting blood test results to determine what caused the mass vomiting, dizziness, and loss of consciousness—symptoms that mimic those of the earlier attacks. But the illnesses may simply be the result of mass hysteria, the AP notes. This area north of Kabul was never under firm Taliban control and girls schools ran here unabated even during the strict regime.