Ramadan 2014
REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE: Girls read the Koran in a madrasa, or religious school, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Kabul June 30, 2014.REUTERS

As many as 116 schoolgirls and teachers in Afghanistan's Herat province were poisoned after a suspected gas leak, and were rushed to the hospital on Monday, local media reported. 

Students and teachers of the Habib-Al-Mustafa Girls' School in Jabril area in Herat fainted due to the gas poisoning and were taken to nearby hospitals, Pajhwok Afghan news reported. 

"I was inside a classroom and felt a bad smell. I don't know what happened later on. When I opened my eyes, I was in hospital," a teacher told the agency.

It is not clear what caused the gas leak. 

"So far it's not clear how the incident happened but we have started investigations," officials told Afghanistan's TOLO News agency. 

A similar case of poisoning had been reported in Herat city last month, when dozens of schoolgirls had fallen ill.

According to TOLO News, cases of poisoning in girls' schools in Afghanistan has increased in recent months. 

It is not clear if the Taliban, which has regained control in many regions of the country, has any hand in these incidents. 

The Taliban seeks to ban girls' education and had barred girls from going to schools during its rule.