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Death Toll from Raid on Shia Afghan Village Hits 60

The civilians, including women and children, were massacred during an attack on the Mirza Olang Village in the northern Sar-e Pol Province overnight Sunday. A number of Afghan security forces were also among the dead.

Fierce fighting began in the area on Thursday when militants, reportedly including foreign nationals, seized a checkpoint manned by local police. Two days later, they entered the village and killed civilians in “a brutal, inhumane way,” according to a provincial spokesman Zabihullah Amani.

The militants set fire to several mosques, torched at least 30 houses, beheaded a number of villagers and shot dozens of others dead, other officials said.

Amani said the assailants launched the attack under the command of a local Taliban commander who he said had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, claimed responsibility for seizing the area, but denied killing civilians in Mirza Olang, cooperating with Daesh, or using foreign assailants. 

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