Taleban kill seven civilians in country’s north: Afghan official

KABUL (AP) — At least seven Afghan civilians were killed when the Taleban attacked security forces in northern Balkh province, local officials said yesterday.

The insurgents abducted the civilians on Tuesday afternoon in the district of Sholgara and later killed them, according to local Police Chief Sayed Arif Iqbali.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Taleban that they were behind the attack in Balkh.

The violence comes as the Taleban said their peace deal with the United States (US), signed at the end of February in Qatar, was nearing a breaking point, blaming Washington for alleged violations of the deal that the US denied.

In the southern Kandahar province, three children were killed and five were seriously wounded when a mortar shell hit in the district of Daman, according to Bahir Ahmadi, the spokesman for the provincial governor.

The Taleban blamed US forces for the attack, and a Taleban spokesman Qari Yusouf Ahmadi claimed the children were killed in a drone attack. However, US military spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett denied any use of weapons in the area.