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26 Apr, 2021 12:09

At least 16 children injured as rocket hits government compound in Afghanistan during Koran recital competition

At least 16 children injured as rocket hits government compound in Afghanistan during Koran recital competition

A rocket hit a government compound in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar on Monday, while the facility was hosting a competition for Koran recitals. The building sustained minor damage and at least 16 children were wounded.

The governor’s compound was the subject of a rocket attack early on Monday. The facility was hit by at least one projectile.

The rocket hit a hall in the compound where a competition involving young Koran reciters was taking place, the governor of Kunar, Iqbal Sayeed, said. He blamed the attack on Taliban insurgents.

Imagery circulating online shows the hall’s windows smashed, with charred chairs laying around in disarray. It was not immediately clear whether the munition penetrated the hall or exploded outside the building.

At least 16 children participating in the competition, as well as security force members and religious affairs officials, were injured by the blast. Some of the children received serious wounds, with Sayeed describing their condition as critical.

Afghanistan has seen an increase in violence in recent weeks. Afghan officials have accused the Taliban of stepping up the attacks on the country’s security forces after US President Joe Biden announced the plan to withdraw remaining American combat troops by September 11.

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More than 100 Afghan civilians and security forces have been killed in fighting in the last 10 days, while dozens more have been wounded, according to government officials. In a separate incident on Monday, a military vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the city of Jalalabad, the capital of the eastern province of Nangarhar. Six people inside the vehicle were injured by the blast.

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