Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, March 7

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KABUL -- At least 15 people were injured after a mortar attack on a gathering attended by high-ranking officials and politicians in western Kabul on Thursday, authorities said.

Several rounds of mortars struck near or inside Shahid Mazari Musalla, a big open mosque building at around midday in Dashti Barchi locality, a security official told Xinhua anonymously. (Afghanistan-Attack-Injured)

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JAKARTA -- The search and rescue operation carried out after a gold mine collapse in central Indonesia ended Thursday, with the death toll standing at 27, according to Indonesian disaster agency authorities.

"So far, a total of 27 miners have been dead. The search for the victims is decided to be ended today (Thursday) because the situation in the underground has been unsafe for the rescuers, and failed to comply with the health standards," Haris Dilapanga, head of disaster management agency in Bolaang Mongondow district where the mine is situated, told Xinhua over phone. (Indonesia-Mine Collapse-Deaths)

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SEOUL -- Top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States held talks in Washington about the affairs related to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Seoul's foreign ministry said here on Thursday.

Lee Do-hoon, special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, met Wednesday in Washington with Stephen Biegun, U.S. special representative for the DPRK. (S.Korea-U.S.-DPRK)

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SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir -- At least 18 people were wounded Thursday in a blast that went off inside a busy bus station in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.

The blast took place at the main bus station in Jammu city, the winter capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir. (India-Blast-Injured)

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ISLAMABAD -- China was willing to play a constructive role to help ease the tensions between Pakistan and India, and called on the two sides to refrain from taking any actions that could further escalate the situation, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners which have always shared firm mutual support in issues concerning each other's core interests, visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said during his meetings with the Pakistani leadership on Wednesday. (Pakistan-China-India)

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KUNDUZ, Afghanistan -- At least seven security forces and eight militants were killed following fresh clashes in Afghanistan's northern province of Kunduz overnight as fighting rages in the country, a local official said Thursday.

The clashes erupted after Taliban militants armed with guns and rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) attacked security checkpoints outside administrative buildings of Qalay-i-Zal district, district chief Ahmad Fahim Qarloq told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Clashes-Casualties) Enditem

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