Afghan forces recapture ´Mirzawalang´ village in Sar-e Pul province

37 killed in Afghanistan as Taliban attack security forces

KABUL: Afghan forces have recaptured a remote village where Taliban and Daesh fighters allegedly massacred dozens of civilians earlier this month, officials said Tuesday.
Militants killed about 50 men, women and children in Mirzawalang, a village in Sayad district of northern Sar-e Pul province, on August 5 after overrunning a government-backed militia, according to officials and residents.
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.
“Our forces are in full control of the village and are searching for Taliban mines and booby traps,” Nasratullah Jamshidi told foreign news agency.
Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry, said forces had “pushed the Taliban out of the village” on Monday afternoon.
He told foreign news agency that militants had suffered “heavy casualties”. There has been no word on any casualties to Afghan forces.
Troops are expected to start searching for mass graves following claims from families and local officials that about 50 villagers were either shot or beheaded after Taliban and Daesh insurgents took Mirzawalang in a rare joint operation.
Daesh claimed responsibility for killing 54 in Sar-e Pul in a statement released by its propaganda outlet Amaq late Monday.
The Taliban earlier claimed capturing the village but said it did so alone. It also denied allegations it had killed civilians.
Survivors fleeing the violence described nightmarish scenes, detailing how militants went from house to house, shooting villagers.
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.
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.


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