At least 16 civilians, including 10 children, were killed by a mortar shell in northwestern Faryab province of Afghanistan, Pajhwok news agency said, quoting the Dawlatabad district police chief Col. Niamatullah Tofan.

 According to Tofan, the clash between the security forces and the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) took place on Friday, with heavy weaponry used by both sides.

He added that it was unclear which side had fired the shell that caused civilian casualties.

Afghanistan has long been suffering from unstable political, social and security situation due to the simmering militant insurgency, including that of Taliban and Daesh, outlawed in Russia. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces have been conducting joint operations to combat terrorism across the country.

Sputnik