LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, June 29, 2020 (BSS/XINHUA) – At least 25 civilians were killed or injured after mortar shells struck a local bazaar in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand on Monday, a local source confirmed.
“The incident occurred in Sangin district bazaar roughly at 9:30 a.m. local time. The district police have launched an investigation into the attack as it was to clear who fired the mortars,” the source told Xinhua anonymously, and the number of casualties might increase.
“The initial information found that at least 10 people were killed, and the injured were shifted to a main surgical hospital in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah,” he noted.
According to local villagers, the shelling occurred during fierce clashes between Taliban militants and government security forces around the district bazaar.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, told local reporters that the mortar shells were fired by the Afghan National Army.
Omar Zwak, provincial government spokesman, told Xinhua that details will be shared with the media later in the day.
Helmand province, notorious for poppy growing, is a known Taliban stronghold.
More than 500 civilians were killed and 760 others wounded due to fighting in
Afghanistan in the first three months of 2020, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in late April.