At least nine people, including seven aid workers, have been killed during an attack by militants in north Afghanistan, officials say.
"Those killed in Zari district of Balkh Province include seven aid workers - six men and one woman - and two guards," deputy provincial police chief Abdul Razaq Qaderi said on Tuesday, referring to the overnight attack.
The police official blamed the Taliban for the attack.
The aid workers, who were employees of People in Need (PIN), a Czech aid organization delivering humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, were killed when their guesthouse came under a militant attack early on Tuesday.
International aid workers have been the target of attacks by militants in Afghanistan. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 57 aid workers were killed in the country only in 2014.
Afghanistan has been the scene of violence since 2001 when the US and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.
The US-led military alliance in Afghanistan officially ended its combat mission on December 31, 2014, but insecurity still lingers on in the war-torn country.
About 1,400 foreign troops, mostly Americans, have, however, remained in Afghanistan in what the US claims to be a support mission.
The war in Afghanistan has killed almost 100,000 people and wounded the same number, according to a new report from Brown University.
Meanwhile, the UN has also said recently that civilian casualties rose 16 percent in the first four months of 2015, from the same period last year, with 974 people killed and a further 1,963 wounded.