Kandahar: Afghanistan authorities on Monday accused Taliban militants of beheading two children for spying, but insurgency leaders denied the gruesome charges.

The boys, aged 10 and 16, were beheaded on Sunday in the southern province of Kandahar after they collected left-over food from a police post, provincial police spokesman Ghorzang Afridi said.

"The children used to go to a police checkpoint to collect food and other things thrown away by police, so the Taliban thought they were spies and abducted them and beheaded them," Afridi said.

"They were poor children who lived on collecting scraps and leftovers. Villagers found the two boys' bodies in a remote area of Zhari district and informed police," he added.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi dismissed the allegations as government propaganda and condemned the murders. "The government does this to distract from attacks such as in Kabul this morning," Ahmadi said.

(Agencies)

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