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Roadside Bomb Hits Afghan Bus

by AFP

File Photo. Asif Hassan—AFP

At least eight people killed, 40 others wounded in Farah province explosion

A roadside bomb hit a Kabul-bound passenger bus in western Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing at least eight people and wounding around 40, mostly women and children, officials said.

“It was a bomb planted by the Taliban to hit security forces but unfortunately it got a passenger bus,” said Farah provincial police spokesman Muhibullah Muhib.

There was no immediate confirmation that the Taliban was responsible for the blast, but Afghanistan’s largest militant group is very active in the province.

The explosion happened as the bus traveled through Bala Baluk district of Farah at 4:30 a.m., provincial governor spokesman Naser Mehri told AFP.

Photos posted on social media purportedly of the bus showed the vehicle’s blackened shell and dozens of Afghan men standing at the scene.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the 17-year conflict and improvised explosive devices, such as remotely detonated or pressure-plate bombs, are one of the main causes of casualties. Such IEDs caused 877 civilian casualties in the first half of 2018—232 deaths and 645 wounded—accounting for 17 percent of overall casualties.

The Taliban has a heavy presence in Farah. It launched a major attempt to take over the provincial capital in May, triggering intense fighting with U.S. and Afghan forces.

After a daylong battle, they forced the Taliban fighters to the outskirts of the city.

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