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Afghanistan: Bomb, mortars kill 23 civilians in Helmand

The Taliban claimed that the army fired mortars at the market, while the army says car bombs and mortar shells fired by the rebels targeted civilians.

A statement from a provincial governor’s office in southern Afghanistan said at least 23 people, including children, have been killed in a car bomb and mortar attack in a busy market in southern Helmand province.

Both the Taliban and the Afghan army are blaming each other for the attack in Sangin district on Monday. The Taliban claimed that the army fired mortars at the market, while the army says car bombs and mortar shells fired by the rebels targeted civilians.

The military says there was no military activity in the area on Monday and two Taliban fighters were also killed when a car bomb exploded in the market. In recent reports and statements, the United Nations has asked both sides in the conflict to be more wary of civilian casualties, saying they are on the rise.

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