Iranian police on Wednesday said 110 suspects have been arrested in connection with the mysterious poisonings of thousands of girls in schools across the country.
Students reveal they have been sickened by noxious fumes in the incidents dating back to November that have mainly occurred in girls’ schools.
Authorities say they are investigating, but there has been no no word on who might be behind the incidents as well as what or if any chemicals have been used.
Quite unlike neighbouring Afghanistan, Iran has no history of religious extremists targeting women’s education, even during the height of its 1979 Islamic Revolution.
There have been no reported fatalities linked to the schoolgirl poisonings , and some officials have suggested that mass hysteria might have played a role.
The police spokesman, Gen. Saeed Montazerolmehdi, announced the arrests in remarks carried by Iranian media.
He also said police had confiscated thousands of stink bomb toys, indicating that some of the alleged attacks might have been copycat pranks.
However, others appear to be more serious, with hundreds of students hospitalised, according to local media reports and rights groups.
Iran has heavily restricted independent media and arrested dozens of journalists since the outbreak of nationwide anti-government protests last September.
It has also targeted reporters covering the poisonings, even as officials have provided few details about what is happening.