KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan official says that at least 30 people including women and children have been killed by Taliban fighters in northern Sari Pul province.

Zahir Wahdat, the provincial governor for Sari Pul, says Sunday that the victims are mostly civilians and some local security forces. The shootings took place Saturday morning after the Taliban seized control of the strategic Mirzawalang area in Sayad district.

Wahdat says Afghan forces retreated form the area after they couldn’t gain ground or air support from the central government.

Earlier reports indicated that over a dozen people had been killed by the Taliban.

Qari Yusouf Ahamdi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack, but not the civilian deaths.

Ten Taliban fighters were also killed, according to Zabi Amani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

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