At least 32 people were killed in western Afghanistan on Wednesday when the bus they were travelling in hit a roadside bomb, a provincial official told Associated Press. However, TOLO News reported that 34 people had died.
The bus was on its way to Farah province from Herat province. Spokesperson of Farah province Mohibullah Mohib said that 15 people were severely injured in the incident and were in a critical condition, indicating that the toll could increase. “A passenger bus travelling on the Kandahar-Herat highway hit a Taliban roadside bomb,” Mohib had earlier told AFP.
There was no confirmation from the Taliban that it was behind the attack. Farooq Barakzai, a spokesperson for Farah’s governor, confirmed the toll, also warning that it may rise.
The blast came a day after the United Nations said civilians were being killed and wounded at a shocking level in Afghanistan’s war, despite efforts to end the nearly 18-year-old conflict. Casualties have dropped 27% in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year, but 1,366 civilians were killed and another 2,446 injured.
The United Nations said efforts to reduce the violence was insufficient. The organisation said US and pro-government forces caused more civilian deaths than the Taliban and other insurgent groups in the second quarter.