00:45 - Source: CNN
Mysterious gas sickens hundreds of Afghan school girls

Story highlights

Four female teachers and 26 students were hospitalized Saturday

Schoolgirls are often attacked by men who don't believe they should go to school

CNN —  

Mysterious gas at an Afghan girls’ school sent 30 people to the hospital Saturday in the fourth such incident in the area in a week.

Four female teachers and 26 students were hospitalized because of fumes at their school in Herat city, said Mohammad Rafiq Sherzai, a spokesman for the regional hospital.

An investigation is underway, police said. They declined to release more information.

More than 320 people have been hospitalized in the city this week over mysterious gas.

On Thursday, 115 girls from a local school were hospitalized after they were poisoned with an unknown gas, Sherzai said. The victims’ ages ranged between 9 and 18, he said.

The same week – Wednesday and Monday – a total of 208 girls fell ill as a result of a similar gas incident in a different school in the city.

The incidents were deliberately caused, Deputy Provincial Gov. Aseeluddin Jami said without elaborating on who was responsible.

Attacks against schoolgirls in Afghanistan happen with alarming frequency, often by militants who believe girls should not go to school.

In July, assailants on a motorbike threw acid in the faces of three teen girls on their way to school in Herat province. Two of the girls were critically injured.