KABUL (Dispatches) – At least six Afghan civilians were killed and several more were wounded when a mortar shell hit a house during a wedding ceremony in northern Kapisa province, security officials said on Sunday.
The explosion on Saturday evening was in the Tagab district, which has seen fighting between the Afghan government forces and the Taliban militants.
Shayeq Shoresh, a spokesman for the provincial police, blamed the Taliban for firing the mortar and added that at least six civilians, including women and children, were killed and four more wounded.
But a senior security official in Kabul put the death toll at at least 10 and the number of wounded at 18.
A Taliban spokesman dismissed the allegation and said the mortar was fired by Afghan security forces.
Afghan civilians often bear the brunt of the attacks as they are caught in the crossfire.
In another development in Kapisa, a roadside bomb struck a minivan full of university lecturers and students, killing at least 4 and wounding 11 others, Afghan officials said.
Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the minivan was targeted while traveling to bring the group to Alberoni University. Provincial police spokesman Shayeq Shoresh said the bomb was set off by remote control.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Previous deadly attacks on Kabul university in November last year were claimed by Daesh.
The ongoing fighting between government forces and the militants has killed or wounded at least 1,800 civilians in the first three months of this year, according to the United Nations figures.
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission’s annual report last year also said there were 8,500 civilian casualties, including 2,958 deaths, in the country.
The Saturday mortar attack was the latest in a series of violent attacks across Afghanistan, which have seen a sharp rise since the U.S. missed a withdrawal deadline it had agreed with the Taliban in Doha last year.
All foreign troops were supposed to have been withdrawn by May 1, but U.S. President Joe Biden last month pushed that date back to September 11.