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Deadly blast rocks Afghan school

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AtleastninestudentshavebeenkilledandsixotherstudentswerewoundedintheexplosioninIshk

At least nine students have been killed and six other students were wounded in the explosion in Ishkamish district of northern Takhar province, officials say.

Deadly blast rocks Afghan school Deadly blast rocks Afghan school business Afghan security forces stand guard near the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 12, 2020. (Reuters)

A mortar bomb blast inside a seminary in northern Afghanistan killed at least nine students on Thursday, police said.

"The explosion was caused by a mortar that had somehow been carried inside the madrassa," police spokesman Khalil Asir said, adding many of the dead were aged under 18.

Six students were wounded in the explosion in the Ishkamish district of Takhar province.

Provincial governor spokesman Jawad Hejri confirmed the incident and the toll.

Read More: US launches first Taliban airstrikes since Afghan ceasefire end

Series of attacks

It comes after two deadly blasts this month targeted separate mosques in Kabul.

On Friday, four people were killed when explosives detonated at a mosque in the capital during weekly prayers.

A week earlier a blast at a mosque in the heavily fortified Green Zone killed two people, including a prominent imam.

Intra-Afghan talks

The latest bloodshed comes as the Taliban and government are preparing to launch much-delayed peace talks aimed at ending the nearly two-decade-old conflict in the impoverished country.

The talks are expected to begin once the two sides complete an ongoing prisoner swap accelerated after a brief ceasefire last month.

Officials claim the Taliban have stepped up attacks in recent days, although there has been an overall drop in violence across the country since the ceasefire ended.

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