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Afghan conflict: Dozens killed in 'brutal' Sar-e Pul attack

07 August 2017,Monday, 11:55

At least 50 civilians have been killed by militants in northern Afghanistan, officials say.

They report that a checkpoint manned by local police was attacked in the Mirzawalang area of Sar-e Pul province, reports the BBC.

The assailants then entered the village and shot dead mainly Shia Muslim civilians including women and children, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.

"They were killed in a brutal, inhumane way," he added.

He reported that seven members of the Afghan security forces has also been killed, as well as a number of insurgents.

A combination of Taliban and Islamic State (IS) group fighters - including foreigners - were involved, he said. Both are Sunni Muslim militant groups.

The Taliban denied killing civilians, saying that its fighters had killed 28 members of a government-supported militia in the area.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack.

"Criminal terrorists have once again killed civilians, women and children," he said in a statement.

"This barbaric act of them is deemed a direct violation of human rights and a war crime."

Fighting has intensified across Afghanistan in recent months. More than 1,662 civilians were killed in the half of the year, according to UN figures.

Can Afghan military turn tide in Taliban fight?

US President Donald Trump is considering whether to increase the number of US troops aiding the military and police in the country.


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