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Deadly blast hits religious school in northern Afghanistan

The explosion happened during prayer time in the capital of the province of Samangan.
Wounded Afghan men receive treatment at a hospital following a blast at a madrassa in Aybak city of Samangan province on November 30, 2022. - At least 16 people were killed and 24 others wounded November 30 by a blast at a madrassa in Afghanistan's northern city of Aybak, a doctor at a local hospital told AFP.
Wounded Afghan men are treated at a hospital Wednesday after a blast at a madrassa in Aybak, the capital of Samangan province.AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: Reuters

KABUL, Afghanistan — A blast tore through a religious school during prayer time in the northern Afghan province of Samangan on Wednesday, killing 15 people, a provincial spokesperson said.

At least 20 people were also wounded in the explosion in the provincial capital of Aybak, Emdadullah Muhajir, spokesperson for Samangan’s provincial government, added.

“A blast took place around 12:45 p.m. inside Jahdia Madrassa in the center of city. Lots of boys are studying at this madrassa,” he said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast. Muhajir said an investigation had begun.

Interior ministry spokesperson Abdul Nafi Takor confirmed the blast but put the death toll so far at 10 with more injured.

“Our detective and security forces are working to identify the perpetrators of this unforgivable crime and bring them to justice,” Takor said.

The Taliban say they are focused on securing the war-torn nation since taking over the country last year. But several attacks, including at mosques, have taken place in recent months, some of which have been claimed by the Islamic State.