Iran says 110 arrested over suspected schoolgirl poisonings


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iranian police mentioned Wednesday that 110 suspects have been arrested in reference to the suspected poisoning of hundreds of women in colleges throughout the nation.

Students say they’ve been sickened by noxious fumes in incidents courting again to November which have primarily occurred in ladies’ colleges. Authorities say they’re investigating, however there was no phrase on who is likely to be behind the incidents or what — if any — chemical substances have been used.

Unlike neighboring Afghanistan, Iran has no historical past of spiritual extremists concentrating on girls’s schooling, even through the peak of its 1979 Islamic Revolution. There have been no fatalities, and a few officers have prompt that mass hysteria might need performed a task.

Gen. Saeed Montazerolmehdi, the police spokesperson, introduced the arrests in remarks carried by Iranian media. He additionally mentioned police had confiscated hundreds of stink bomb toys, indicating that a few of the alleged assaults might need been copycat pranks.

Others look like extra severe, with lots of of scholars hospitalized, in accordance with native media reviews and rights teams.

Iran has closely restricted unbiased media and arrested dozens of journalists because the outbreak of nationwide antigovernment protests final September. It has additionally focused reporters overlaying the poisonings, whilst officers have supplied few particulars about what is occurring.

A lawmaker on a authorities panel investigating the incidents mentioned earlier this month that as many as 5,000 college students have complained of being sickened in 230 colleges throughout 25 provinces. Human Rights Activists in Iran, a gaggle that has carefully monitored the current protests, has put the quantity at over 7,000 college students.

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The World Health Organization documented what might need been the same phenomenon in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012, when lots of of women throughout the nation complained of unusual smells and poisoning. No proof was discovered to help the suspicions, and WHO mentioned it seemed to be a “mass psychogenic illness.”

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