Kabul, Jul 30 (EFE).- At least five civilians were killed and 12 others injured on Friday in a mortar strike in Qalat, the capital of the southern Afghan province of Zabul, where clashes between the Taliban and government forces have been ongoing.
Those dead were three children and two women, and some of the 12 wounded were in a serious condition, according to a statement by Zabul hospital chief physician Nazir Harifal to local broadcaster Tolo.
The police attributed the attack to the Taliban, although the insurgents are yet to claim the attack.
In recent days, Zabul province has witnessed clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan security forces, as the militants continue their offensive amid the pullout of foreign troops from the country.
In the last few months, the Taliban has captured more than 125 of the 407 district centers across the country.
The insurgent group has also captured important border posts, vital for the transport of goods between a land-locked Afghanistan and its neighboring countries.
The increase in violence coincides with the beginning of the final phase of withdrawal of the United States and NATO troops that began on May 1 and is expected to conclude by August.
To check the Taliban advance, the Afghan government has been working on a military strategy that will allow it to regain territory and move from a defensive to an offensive position.
Although both parties in the conflict have stressed that the only way to end the two decades of war in Afghanistan was at the negotiating table, for now the intra-Afghan peace talks in Doha have brought no concrete results. EFE