At least 14 civilians have been killed and dozens more injured when a market crowded with visitors located in northern Afghanistan was fired with mortar shells, officials said Saturday.
Army spokesman Hanif Rezaee said several mortar fired from Taliban rebels also hit the market in Khwaja Sabz Posh district in Faryab region early this morning.
“A total of 14 civilians were killed and 40 including women and children injured,” he told AFP.
He added that the Taliban tried to attack a military checkpoint with mortar located near the market.
Director of Public Health, Naem Musamim said 14 bodies and 39 injured victims including four children were taken to a nearby hospital.
He added that several victims were in critical condition brought to the hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif in the Balkh region.
Meanwhile, the Taliban denied they were involved in the attack in response via Twitter.
The deadly incidents come as the war between the Taliban and Afghan security forces rages on, even as Taliban officials are meeting with US negotiators in Doha in a bid to bring about an end to the conflict.
An agreement with the Taliban is expected to have two main points — a US withdrawal from Afghanistan and a commitment by the militants not to provide a base for terrorists, the main reason for the US invasion nearly 18 years ago.
On Sunday, the insurgents will meet in the Qatari capital with various representatives from Afghan society as part of a potential peace process.
Earlier on Friday, Four civilians were killed in a rocket attack on the center of the Khaja Sabzposh district district of the northern province, spokesman Abdul Karim Ureish said.
According to the Afghan TV channel “Talo”, civilians were killed by Taliban rockets near their homes, he said, adding that another 36 people had been wounded in the attack.
Urish said the injured were taken to nearby hospitals in the province, noting that there were children among the victims.
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