Afghan schoolgirls (State Department photo)
From the Herald Sun, with thanks to Jean-Luc:
THREE Afghan schoolgirls are in critical condition after being poisoned in the southeastern town of Khost in what officials said was a Taliban attempt to discourage female education in the region.
A Taliban spokesman denied the allegation.
The girls, aged between 10 and 15, ate poisoned biscuits offered to them by a man, said the spokeswoman for the provincial department of Women’s Affairs, Shahina Sharif.
The military commander of the province Khialbaz Khan said the ousted Taliban militia were behind the poisoning to “deter girls from going to school.”
However, Taliban spokesman Litfullah Hakimi, speaking to AFP from an unknown location, denied the allegation.
The girls had been attending the only school which accepts females in Khost.