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Afghan School Poisoning? 100 Boys Fall Sick, Rushed to Hospital

KABUL, Afghanistan — About 100 Afghan schoolboys were rushed to hospital on Saturday after eating beans given to them by a food vendor who claimed the meal would help them in exams, the local police chief said.

The food vendor in the western province of Herat was later arrested and an investigation launched into whether the food had been deliberately tainted, Abdul Jabar Rozi, Herat's police chief, told Reuters.

"Enemies might be behind this," he said.

None of the boys aged between 10 to 14 was seriously sick, provincial police chief Col. Fauf Ahmadi told NBC News.

Taliban insurgents have poisoned Afghan police and army soldiers as part of their fight to topple the U.S.-backed government, but periodic reports of poison attacks on schools have mostly turned out to be the result of accidental food poisoning or mass hysteria.

Meanwhile, the bodies of five Afghan aid workers working for Save the Children were found on Friday, 39 days after their abduction by the Taliban in the central province of Uruzgan, a spokesman for provincial governor Dost Mohammad Nayab said.

"The Taliban had demanded the release of five of their people in exchange but the central governor did not let them free. So they shot these people and we found their dead bodies from Chanarto district on Friday,” Nayab said.

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IN-DEPTH

— Fazul Rahim with Reuters.