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Taliban’s roadside bomb kills nine schoolboys in Afghanistan

The bomb disposal team of the Afghan Army 215 Corps neutralizes an IED in Sangin, Helmand. With roadside bombs the largest threat in Afghanistan, the few teams that have been trained are being relied heavily on to keep the roads safe for troops and civilians. (Al Jazeera English/Flickr)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Nine boys were killed in Afghanistan’s Takhar Province on November 1 when they stepped on a roadside landmine as they headed to school.

“At 8:30 a.m. this morning [local time], tragically, nine schoolchildren were martyred in a landmine blast planted by the Taliban,” the AFP news agency quoted provincial governor spokesman Jawad Hejri as saying.

The Taliban maintains a strong presence in the area, but no group has claimed responsibility for the blast.

In October the United Nationals Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said it was “gravely concerned about the unprecedented levels of violence harming civilians” in the first nine months of this year.

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It noted that the number of casualties recorded from July to September was the highest in a quarter since it began keeping records a decade ago, and that July was the highest ever on record for a single month.

UNAMA recorded 2,563 deaths and 5,676 injured from January 1 to September 30.