Thirty-seven civilians were killed in an attack Tuesday night at a market bazaar and a school near Kandahar airport, Afghan officials said.
Another 35 people were wounded, the Afghan Defense Ministry said. Fighting continued Wednesday into the early evening after Afghan National Army forces surrounded the attackers.
Nine “armed terrorists” were also killed, the ministry said. One is injured, and “another one is still fighting,” it said
The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying the gunmen carried machine guns and were targeting foreign forces, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.
Kandahar, the second-largest city in Afghanistan, is about 480 kilometers (300 miles) southwest of the capital of Kabul.
Taliban gunmen opened fire at a bazaar near the Kandahar airport at 6:20 p.m. local time (8:50 a.m. ET) Tuesday, said Samim Ekhpelwak, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province. Afghan forces returned fire.