Xinhua world news summary at 1530 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-Mortar attack-Injured)

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FRANKFURT -- The European Central Bank (ECB) Thursday announced to keep the key interest rates for the euro area unchanged at least through the end of 2019.

The eurozone base interest rate will remain at 0.00 percent, with the marginal lending rate and deposit rate staying at 0.25 percent and minus 0.40 percent respectively, according to the central bank. (ECB-Interest Rate)

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KIEV -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and visiting U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale met here on Thursday to discuss bilateral ties, Ukraine's presidential press service said.

At the talks, Poroshenko praised the strengthening of the Ukrainian-American strategic partnership over the past four years, especially in such areas as security and defense, and trade and economic ties. (US-Cooperation)

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JERUSALEM -- Three Israeli soldiers were convicted on Thursday of abusing two handcuffed Palestinian detainees, a father and his teen son, in the West Bank in January.

The soldiers were convicted amid a plea deal, which was approved Thursday by a military court in Jaffa in central Israel. Under the deal, the three pleaded guilty of "aggravated abuse" of a 50-year-old Palestinian and his 15-year-old son. (Israel-Palestine-Detainee) Enditem

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