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25 militants killed amid Afghan forces battle for Mirza Olang control

16 Août 2017

In a rare joint operation by the rival militants, fighters killed dozens of men, women and children in Mirzawalang, a mainly Shia village in Sayad district of northern Sar-e-Pul province, on August 5 after overrunning a government-backed militia, according to officials and residents. "Search operations will continue tomorrow", Amani added.

A spokesman for the Afghan National Army´s northern military corps said troops had retaken the village following several days of intense fighting that left at least 50 insurgents dead. There has been no word on any casualties to Afghan forces.

"Me, my brother Ghulam and my sister-in-law left our home to escape the horror that was happening in the village", Sakhi, a resident of Mirzawalang, told Al Jazeera, adding: "When we reached the highway, the militants blocking it asked us to get out of the auto and started hitting us".

Survivors fleeing the violence described the horror, detailing how fighters went from house to house shooting villagers.

Firefighters battle blaze at London Southend Airport
A total of eight crews have been sent to the scene from Southend, Rayleigh, Rochford, Shoeburyness, Hawkwell and Chelmsford. Although some media reports suggested there had been an explosion at London Southend Airport, this remains unconfirmed.

Earlier, Afghan Taliban Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid had rejected reports that the group has recently killed dozens of Shiite civilians in the village as rumors spread by the United States and Afghan governments. The insurgents also took a number of residents captive, but later released 235 hostages after elders and provincial officials struck a deal with the group. It also denied allegations it had killed civilians.

Taliban and Daesh fighters have regularly clashed since the latter gained a foothold in the country in 2015 but security sources say they have teamed up to attack Afghan forces on a few occasions.

This is not the first time the ISIS loyalists have claimed responsibility behind the attack on Shi'ites in Afghanistan but the group has claimed credit for the numerous other attacks including deadly bombings on gatherings and mosques.

25 militants killed amid Afghan forces battle for Mirza Olang control