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14 killed as ANA mortar hits Wardak mosque

At least 14 people were killed and another six wounded when a mortar allegedly fired by Afghan National Army (ANA) troops hit a mosque in the Syedabad district of central Maidan Wardak province on Friday, residents said.

Elders of the district had gathered in a mosque in Wotali village when a mortar shell fired from an ANA checkpoint hit the mosque, killing 14 people, a former district chief of the Daimardad district, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The dead included two children, Hajji Fazal Rabi told Pajhwok Afghan News. He said it was unclear as to why the troops fired the mortar, but said local residents had decided to take the dead bodies to the governor’s house in protest.

A resident of the area, Hayatullah Halim, confirmed the incident that took place at about 11am and the casualties.

He said the injured were taken to the civil hospital in Maidan Shahr, where the dead bodies were also shifted in a mark of protest.

A security official, wishing not to be named, said a fact-finding team had been sent to the district to investigate the incident.

Earlier, an official said eight children were killed and a ninth injured “in a security incident” in the Syedabad district.

He told Pajhwok Afghan New the incident took place in Wotali village in front of a mosque. He confirmed eight children had been killed and a ninth wounded.

“It is unknown as yet if these children were killed in a bomb blast or a rocket fire incident, but an investigation is underway,” he said.

The dead children and the injured one had been shifted to the civil hospital in Maidan Shahr, the provincial capital.

A resident of the village, Wasiullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News the children were killed by a rocket fired by security forces. He said the children killed were aged between 12 and 14 years old. (PAN)

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