The girls experienced headaches, vomiting and dizziness after strong fumes engulfed the school in Kapisa province, north of Kabul. The incident is the third of its kind at an Afghan girls' school recently. Strong fumes were reported on Monday and on 26 April at schools in the nearby town of Charikar. The police say none of the girls is in danger. Blood samples have been sent to the American airbase at Bagram. As yet, officials say there is no clue as to what the fumes may have been, or where they came from.
There has been an increase in reported attacks on schoolgirls in Afghanistan in the past year. These have mainly been in areas of the east and south of the country, where the Taleban insurgency has been gaining strength.
I think a century or two from now, people will find the Taliban movement a true surreal experience of the 21st century. Bombing schools. Possibly poisoning school girls. Definitely throwing acid on the faces of school girls. They are making every effort to out-compete brutalities associated with the medieval times - and they seem to be succeeding in it.
In any case, here is the methodology for the map and below is the map:
One note of caution: There are different flavors of Taliban (at least three major factions) inside Pakistan. So to a degree, this map (and my post) simplifies that aspect. But we should be mindful of that.
The researchers analysed reports from BBC Urdu correspondents over the past 18 months, backed up by conversations with local officials, police officers and journalists.
They concluded that in 24% of the region, the civilian government no longer had authority and Taleban commanders had taken over administrative controls. Either the Taleban were in complete control or the military were engaged in operations to flush them out.
Another 38% of the region was deemed to have a permanent Taleban presence, meaning militants had established rural bases which were restricting local government activities and seriously compromising local administration.
Read the full story here.