July 31, 2019
Passengers, mainly women and children, were killed in attack officials blame on Taliban
Afghan security forces on patrol in 2018 after recapturing control of the city of Farah from Taliban militants. A bomb attack blamed on the Taliban in the province has killed dozens. Photograph: Hameed Khan/AFP/Getty Images
Dozens of civilian passengers, mainly women and children, have been killed in Afghanistan when the bus they were travelling in ran over a roadside bomb, officials have said.
“A passenger bus travelling on the Kandahar-Herat highway hit a Taliban roadside bomb. So far at least 28 killed, 10 wounded,” said Muhibullah Muhib, a spokesman for western Farah province, of the incident on Wednesday morning. All were civilians, mostly women and children, he said.
Farooq Barakzai, a spokesman for Farah’s governor, confirmed the toll but warned it might rise.
There was no immediate confirmation from the Taliban that it was behind the attack.
It came a day after the United Nations said civilians were being killed and wounded at a “shocking” level in Afghanistan’s war, despite a push to end the nearly 18-year-old conflict.
Casualties have dropped 27% in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period last year, which was a record, but nonetheless 1,366 civilians were killed and another 2,446 injured. The UN branded efforts to reduce the violence “insufficient”.
It also said that US and pro-government forces caused more civilian deaths than the Taliban and other insurgent groups for the second quarter running.
Child casualties represented almost a third of the overall total of civilian casualties.
The bloodshed comes amid a months-long, US-led push to forge a peace deal with the Taliban that would see foreign forces quit the country in return for various security guarantees.