HERAT, Afghanistan, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Nearly 100 schoolgirls fell ill in the city of Herat, Afghanistan, on Monday in an incident being investigated as a potential poisoning or a poor quality air freshener.
Forty of the 94 girls sickened were admitted to a hospital. All the schoolgirls began feeling better and were in good health by the afternoon. Most girls have been discharged from the hospital.
“Our initial finding shows some kind of spray was used by some of the students to freshen up the classrooms,” provincial police spokesman Col. Abdul Rauf Ahmadi told NBC News. “Our investigation is ongoing to determine if it was an act of sabotage or poor quality spray.”
Taliban militants have previously targeted girls’ schools and the Shiite Muslim minority, but the militant Islamist group has not claimed responsibility.
“I was inside a classroom and felt a bad smell. I don’t know what happened later on,” Hasina, a teacher at the school, said, according to Pajhwok Afghan News. “When I opened my eyes, I was in hospital.”
The incident was initially reported as the poisoning of at least 116 schoolchildren.