Locals from the village of Mirza Olang, in the northern Afghan province of Sar-e Pul, are reeling today after an overnight attack by unknown militants, who massacred members of the Shi’ite Hazara population, killing as many as 50 civilians, and burning 30 homes to the ground.
The insurgents got into a fight with security forces in the province along the way, and at least seven police and 12 insurgents were also confirmed killed, though this is still a preliminary figure, and fighting is said to still be ongoing in the area.
This is the latest in a growing series of attacks targeting Afghanistan’s Shi’ite minority, and as with some other recent ones, it’s a mystery who these militants actually are, beyond officials saying many are likely foreign fighters from across the border.
There were suggestions they might be both Taliban and ISIS fighters, though the Taliban quickly dismissed this notion, and disavowed any involvement in the attack. Though the Taliban used to regularly attack Hazaras, they’ve denied and criticized several such incidents in recent weeks.