In Afghanistan, over fifty people including women and children were killed in an attack in the Mirza Olang area of Sayaad District at Sar-E-Pul.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani condemned the reported massacre of dozens of civilians in a remote area of the war-torn country where the Taliban claimed a victory against military forces.

The comments came after the governor of Sar-E-Pul said that “as many as 30 to 40 innocent people… Were brutally shot and killed” in the province’s predominately Shiite village of Mirzawalang after insurgents captured it on Saturday.

Mohammad Zaher Wahdat, the provincial governor, added that several mosques were set ablaze while an unknown number of villagers had also been taken hostage following a 48-hour battle between insurgents and afghan security forces.

He said 12 insurgents and seven afghan troops had been killed in the fighting.

The Taliban said in a statement that it had captured Mirzawalang village but rejected reports of civilians casualties, calling it “hollow propaganda by the enemy”.