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16 girls sick in suspected poisoning in Afghanistan

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- At least 16 teenage Afghan girls are recuperating at a hospital after they were poisoned and lost consciousness during school Tuesday, officials said.

The attack is another in a string of suspected poisonings that have targeted school girls in recent months in Afghanistan.

This latest case happened at the Gawharsha Begom primary school, said Sakhi Kargar a spokesman for the Ministry of Health. Police had detained groundskeepers at the school and the water supply was being tested.

This attack comes after at least 88 girls and teachers became ill in separate cases at three girls' schools in the Kunduz province in late April. The Taliban was suspected in those cases, authorities said at the time.

Girls were not allowed to attend school during the Taliban's rule in that area. Since girls' schools began reopening after the Taliban was overthrown in late 2001, the facilities and the female students have been the victims of attacks.