An official reported that nearly 80 girls were poisoned and hospitalized in two separate assaults at their primary schools in Afghanistan.
It is believed to be the first time such an assault has occurred since the Taliban usurped power in August 2021 and began restricting Afghan women's and girls' freedoms.
Girls are prohibited from education beyond sixth grade, including university, and women are prohibited from most professions and public spaces.
The education official stated that the poisoning resulted from a personal grievance but did not elaborate.
According to Mohammad Rahmani, director of the provincial education department, on Saturday and Sunday, nearly eighty female students were poisoned in the Sangcharak district of Sar-e-Pul province.
He stated that 60 pupils at Naswan-e-Kabod Aab School and 17 students at Naswan-e-Faizabad School were poisoned.
"Both elementary schools are close together and were attacked sequentially," he told The Associated Press.
"We transported the students to the hospital, and they are all healthy."
Mr. Rahmani stated that the department had launched an investigation, and preliminary findings indicated that an individual with a grievance paid a third party to carry out the attacks.
He did not explain how the ladies were poisoned or their injuries.
Mr. Rahmani did not provide their ages, but he said they were in grades one through six.
Poisonings of schoolgirls in neighboring Iran
Since last November, neighboring Iran has been rocked by a spate of poisonings, primarily in schools for females.
Thousands of pupils reported becoming ill due to the incidents' noxious fumes, but there has been no word on who may have been responsible or what chemicals may have been used.