Afghan authorities said they are investigating a suspected poison attack at a school in the northeastern province of Takhar.
More than 70 girls and three female teachers at the Bibi Haji school have fallen ill complaining of nausea, headaches and dizziness, the BBC reported Wednesday.
Police said preliminary evidence suggests that poisonous material was sprayed into classrooms at the school.
Forty of the victims were treated and released while 40 others, including three female teachers, remained hospitalized.
A police spokesman said it is believed Taliban insurgents are trying to spread fear by poisoning schoolgirls.
Blood samples from the victims are being tested in Kabul.
Last month, more than 100 girls from Takhar were taken to the hospital after drinking water that authorities suspect was poisoned.