A mortar shell has hit a wedding ceremony in northern Afghanistan, killing at least six civilians and wounding several others, as violent conflict continues between the Taliban and Afghan forces.
According to press tv, the mortar landed in a house, during a wedding ceremony, in the Tagab district of Kapisa province on Saturday evening, Afghan security officials said on Sunday.
“The incident happened when a clash was ongoing between the security forces and the Taliban and a mortar landed on a home,” said the officials.
A spokesman for the provincial police, Shayeq Shoresh, said at least six civilians, including women and children, were killed and four more wounded.
But a senior security official in Kabul put the death toll at 10 and the number of wounded at 18.
He said that the Taliban were responsible for the attack, but the militant group denied responsibility, accusing Afghan security forces of firing the mortar.
The ongoing fighting between government forces and the militants has killed or wounded at least 1,800 civilians in the first three months of this year, according to the United Nations figures.
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission’s annual report last year also said there were 8,500 civilian casualties, including 2,958 deaths, in the country.
The Saturday mortar attack was the latest in a series of violent attacks across Afghanistan, which have seen a sharp rise since the US missed a withdrawal deadline it had agreed with the Taliban in Doha last year.
All foreign troops were supposed to have been withdrawn by May 1, but US President Joe Biden last month pushed that date back to September 11.
The Taliban warned that the passing of the May 1 deadline for a complete withdrawal “opened the way for” the militants to take every counteraction they deemed appropriate against foreign forces in the county.