Schoolchildren killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

Nine children have been killed by a roadside bomb near their school in the north-eastern Takhar province, an Afghan official said.

Sayed Mehraj Sadat, the provincial police chief, said the victims of Saturday’s attack were between 10 and 15 years old. He said the bomb’s intended target was most likely Afghan security forces, who often use the road.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sadat blamed Taliban insurgents who are active in Takhar province, particularly in Darqad district, where the attack took place.

In October, the Taliban launched large-scale attacks in several districts, including the provincial capital Taluqan, which were repelled by Afghan security forces.

Year-long peace talks between the US and the Taliban ended in September, after Donald Trump declared a seemingly imminent deal “dead.”

In May, a landmine killed seven children and wounded two more in the southern province of Ghazni.

A month earlier, seven children were killed and 10 more wounded in the eastern province of Laghman when a mortar shell exploded while they were playing with it.

The insurgents often use roadside bombs and landmines to target Afghan security forces, but the lethal weapons also inflict casualties on civilians.