Vastavam web: The Taliban and Islamic State group jointly massacred dozens of civilians in an Afghan village, officials said today, highlighting rare co-operation between the insurgents that could increase the strain on Afghanistan’s beleaguered security forces.The fighters killed more than 50 men, women and children in the remote Sayad district of northern Sar-e Pul province on Saturday after overrunning the Afghan Local Police (ALP) – a government-backed militia – in a 48-hour battle, according to local officials.The spokesman alleged that dozens of Taliban and IS group fighters under the command of Sher Mohammad Ghazanfar, a local Taliban commander who Amani claims pledged allegiance to IS, launched a co-ordinated attack on the area on Thursday.
“The fighters overran the area and it led to the massacre of innocent and defenceless civilians,” he said.Mohammad Noor Rahmani, head of Sar-e-Pul’s provincial council, said 44 of the 50 victims were believed to be civilians, with the ALP militia also suffering casualties.”This is not the final toll. It might change because the area is inaccessible and no telephone networks are working to get an update,” he told AFP. The Taliban and Islamic State fighters have regularly clashed since the latter gained a foothold in eastern Afghanistan in 2015, as the two vie for supremacy in the war- torn country. Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, confirmed to AFP that it had captured Mirzawalang village but said it had done so alone. It also denied allegations it had killed civilians.