Government officials in the northern Afghan province of Faryab said that Taliban militants killed six members of the same family on Saturday evening, which included women and an infant girl.
Naqibullah Fayeq, the governor of Faryab, told BBC Persian that a group of men broke into the family’s home at 7pm local time and opened fire.
The massacre claimed the lives of six members of the family, including women and children, and injured two others.
The incident took place in the district of Andkhoy, currently under Taliban control. According to Fayeq, those who orchestrated the killings were affiliates of the Taliban’s self-proclaimed district governate.
The Taliban issued an official statement in which they distanced themselves from the killings, describing them as motivated by “a personal vendatta”.
Two men and two women were among those killed, along with two girls, one aged-13 and the other aged-four.
Governer Fayeq said that a young mother and her four-month-old baby survived the assault, after they were evacuated to a local hospital by Afghan security forces deployed to the area.
Doctors were forced to amputate the baby’s legs due to the severity of her injuries.
Jawed Bedar, a spokesman for Governor Fayeq, told AP that the family had been accused by the Taliban of being involved in prostitution, and were subsequently sentenced to death.
Locals in the area disputed the report, claiming that a family member had former ties to Taliban and had been involved in the peace process, according to The Epoch Times.
The Taliban continue to launch attacks on Afghan and U.S. military assets, even as they attempt to edge closer to peace talks to end the near 19-year-long conflict.
The militant group now control or holds sway over approximately half of Afghanistan.