Taliban mortar attack kills five civilians in northern Afghanistan
A mortar attack by Taliban militants has killed five civilians of one family, including four children, in Afghanistan’s northern province of Takhar.
Sunatullah Timor, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said on Friday that the militants fired mortars at a security post in Khwaja Bahuddin district the previous day. One of the projectiles hit a nearby home, killing all the people inside.
The militants also killed a local security policeman and his wife and mother in the same district, Timor said.
Last year, the United Nations expressed deep concern over the rise in the number of children killed or wounded in Afghanistan.
In a report released on October 26, 2016, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said child casualties saw a marked increase between January and September that year.
The UN report said the mission had documented a total of 639 deaths and 1,822 injuries among kids, adding that child casualties had risen every year since 2013.
Afghan forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with Taliban to contain insurgency in various parts of the country.
Taliban militants were removed from power following the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan, but they have stepped up activities in recent months, attempting to overrun several provinces.
Thousands of foreign troops are still in Afghanistan, but apparently maintaining security remains an issue amid almost frequent incidents of violence across the country.