Blast at religious school in Samangan; nearly 20 killed

More than 10 students were killed in a huge explosion at a madrassa, a religious school, in the city of Aybak in the northern province of Samangan on Wednesday afternoon.

Abdul Naafe Takor, the Taliban spokesman for the interior ministry, confirmed the casualties and said many have been wounded in the incident.

Sources said that the casualties are higher than reported. According to two sources from the province, at least 20 people were killed and over 30 more were wounded in the blast.

Footage on social media from the attack shows many bodies on the ground.

The blast happened during afternoon prayers at the al-Jihadi madrassa in the center of Aybak city, a resident of Aybak city said.

But Osman Hamidi, manager at the provincial hospital in Samangan, said that at least 19 people were killed and 23 more were wounded in the explosion.

A source from the province said the bomb was placed inside the mosque and that most of the victims were between 9 to 15 years of age.

The blast comes after a suicide bombing outside a mosque in Herat early in September that killed at least 18 people, including the imam of the mosque.