SARI PUL – An Afghan official said that at least 30 people including women and children have been killed by Taliban fighters in northern Sari Pul province.

Afghans officials say the shootings took place after the militants seized control of the Mirzawalang area in the Sayad district on August 5 following two days of intense gunbattles with security forces.

Provincial Governor Zahir Wahdat said on August 6 that the victims were mostly civilians, including women and children, and some local security forces.

At least 25 civilians were also missing, said Mohammad Noor Rahmani, head of the provincial council.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, but not for the civilian deaths and abductions.

Officials earlier said at least seven police officers and 10 Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting, and four security officers were wounded.