Scores of schoolgirls in the Afghan province of Kunduz have fallen ill over the past week, in what authorities allege is mass poisoning by insurgents. Last weekend, 13 girls were taken ill. This follows two separate incidents last week when about 70 girls complained of dizziness and nausea.
An inquiry has already begun, according to health officials. The Taliban - which opposes female education - denies carrying out an attack. The girls said they noticed a strange smell in class before the onset of their symptoms, but health officials said the gas remains unidentified. The incidents all involved different schools.
In May 2009, Afghan authorities launched an investigation after about 90 schoolgirls fell ill in Kapisa province. Although officials suspected deliberate poisoning, the results of the inquiry were inconclusive.