Security

Mortar blast kills 9 students at religious school in Takhar

AFP

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Afghan relatives of victims look on as they stand in front of a hospital following a bomb attack in Taloqan, Takhar Province, on October 13, 2018. A mortar blast on June 18 killed nine students in the province. [Naseer Sadeq/AFP]

KUNDUZ -- A mortar bomb blast inside a religious school in Takhar Province Thursday (June 18) killed at least nine students, police said.

"As per initial investigation, the explosion was caused by a mortar that had somehow been carried inside the madrassa," police spokesman Abdul Khalil Aseer told AFP, adding many of the dead were aged under 18.

Six students were wounded in the explosion in Ishkamish District.

Provincial governor's spokesman Muhammad Jawad Hejri confirmed the incident and the toll.

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

On June 12, four people were killed when explosives detonated at a mosque in the capital during weekly prayers.

Earlier in the month, a blast at a mosque in the heavily fortified Green Zone killed two people, including a prominent imam.

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 country.

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I need a contact number from your media outlet. I will be happy if you give it.

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I can't blame Afghan Government. But I blame savage Taliban due to duplicitous policies in Afghanistan.

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Neither the government, nor the savage Taliban have appropriate program for peace. Therefore, discussing and talking about when and how peace comes in this country, will not even happen in our dream.

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The situation in the religious schools of Takhar and Badakhshan provinces is very concerning. Instead of religious studies, terrorist lessons are taught in the abovementioned schools. If the government does not make right decision about these schools, these provinces will become headache for the Afghan government in the future. In most of these schools, students are recruited in Hizb ut-Tahrir, and through this organization, they join Taliban and ISIS groups and the Haqqani Network. The government of Afghanistan must make all the country's religious schools official and hire teachers who have studied Sharia and have official degrees from reliable internal and international universities and pay them salary. Otherwise, terrorist networks will misuse the compulsion and ignorance of the people of rural areas of Afghanistan and recruit them for destructive activities and will challenge the government in the future.

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It seems from this incident that the country's religious schools are under the control of anti-government armed dissidents. Religious schools are the places for teaching religious matters, and religious schools are the places where youths are taught religious lessons to serve their community in the future and to be presented as religious scholars in mosques and religious schools in order to show people the right way of religion, and to tell people not to bribe, not to oppress, not to kill, but to live together in peace. Unfortunately, Afghanistan's religious schools, instead of religious education, teach students the lessons of war and terrorism, and these schools are not controlled by the Afghan government. So bringing Mortar’s rocket into the religious school and mosque seems to be a bitter truth about the situation in religious schools. In fact, the terrorists commit great atrocity against the oppressed and poor people of Afghanistan by offering children terror lessons in religious schools.

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