Afghan official: Bomb, mortars kill 23 civilians in Helmand

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A statement form a provincial governor’s office in southern Afghanistan says that at least 23 people, including children, have been killed in a car bomb and mortar attack at a busy market in southern Helmand province.

Both the Taliban and the Afghan military are blaming each other for the attack on Monday in Sangin district. The Taliban claim the military fired mortars into the market while the military says a car bomb and mortar shells fired by the insurgents targeted the civilians.

The army says there was no military activity in the area on Monday and that two Taliban fighters were also killed when the car bomb detonated at the marketplace.

The United Nations in recent reports and statements has asked both sides in the conflict to be more careful of civilian casualties, saying they are on the increase.