In case you needed more evidence that things in Afghanistan are going from bad to worse, fifty-nine students at a girls' school were hospitalized earlier today because they were attacked with poisoned gas.
According to CNN, the students from a Kabul high school (pictured) — along with 14 of their teachers — are recovering well after the attack. Officials aren't sure what kind of gas made them sick, but they are sending blood samples to Turkmenistan for testing. Most disturbing of all, this is the ninth case of schoolgirl poisoning in Afghanistan.
Presumably this doesn't even include acid attacks on Afghan schoolgirls, though the two have the same goal — keeping young women from learning. CNN points out that most girls weren't allowed to go to school from 1996 to 2001, when the Taliban was in power, and clearly there are those in Afghanistan who want a return to those days. As awful as it is to deny girls the right to an education, it's almost unimaginably despicable to do so by poisoning them. The fact that this has happened nine times is a terrifying reminder that in Afghanistan, the most basic rights of women and girls remain deeply at risk.