Terror attack in northern Afghanistan kills 50, including women/children
At least 50 people, including women and children, were killed when terrorists attacked a village in the northern Afghan province of Sar-e Pul. A government official said the terrorists attacked a security outpost and torched 20 houses. They mainly targeted members of the Shia Hazara community. "They were killed in a brutal, inhumane way," an official said.
ISIS and Taliban fighters reportedly behind attack
Officials said a combination of ISIS and Taliban fighters conducted the attack. Both groups are normally seen as enemies. However, the allegiance of their cadres remains fluid, with fighters sometimes changing sides or cooperating with each other. However, the Taliban has denied killing any civilians alongside ISIS. It said 28 members of a government-linked local militia were killed by its fighters.
President Ashraf Ghani condemns attack
"Criminal terrorists have once again killed civilians, women and children," said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a statement. "This barbaric act of them is deemed a direct violation of human rights and a war crime," he added.
Attack highlights Afghanistan's worsening security situation
The latest attack demonstrates the threat faced by Afghanistan from a resurgent Taliban and an expanding ISIS network. Over 1,650 civilians were killed in fighting in the first half of 2017 amid a worsening security situation. Afghan security forces are struggling to contain the growing militancy, prompting US President Donald Trump to increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan.