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Five Killed In Afghan Market Attack

FILE: A displacement camp in Faryab
FILE: A displacement camp in Faryab

At least five people have been killed in a mortar attack on a market in northern Afghanistan.

Officials said that 45 people, including women and children, were also wounded in the attack in Faryab Province on January 16.

A local police spokesman said three mortar shells slammed into the weekly bazaar in Khwaja Sabz Push district in the morning attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the incident, although local officials suspected the Taliban.

A spokesman for the provincial governor was quoted as saying that the attack may have targeted a provincial delegation, including the governor, which has been in the district since January 15 to assess an ongoing military operation.

Elsewhere, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry said that security forces arrested three suspects following a rocket attack late on January 15 on Wazir Akbar Khan, a central neighborhood in Kabul that houses many diplomatic missions, news agencies, and non-governmental groups.

The spokesman said no casualties were reported in that attack.

The Western-backed government in Kabul has been struggling to fend off the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most NATO troops in 2014.

U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled in August his new strategy for the South Asia region, under which the United States has deployed 3,000 more troops to Afghanistan to train, advise, and assist and to conduct counterterrorism missions.

The United States currently has about 14,000 uniformed personnel in the country.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP