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Roadside Bomb Kills At Least 11 In Western Afghanistan

A roadside bomb has hit a bus in the western Afghan province of Farah, killing at least 11 passengers and wounding about 40 others, local officials say.

Provincial governor spokesman Naser Mehdi told RFE/RL that the explosion occurred as the bus was traveling through Bala Baluk district on the morning of July 31.

The bus was on its way from western Herat Province toward the capital, Kabul.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, but provincial police spokesman Muhibullah Muhib put the blame on the Taliban, which has a strong presence in Farah Province.

"It was a bomb planted by the Taliban to hit security forces, but unfortunately it got a passenger bus," Muhib said.

Women and children were among those killed and wounded in the blast, officials said.

The death toll was expected to rise as some of the passengers of the bus were in critical condition.

The Western-backed government in Kabul has been struggling to fend off the Taliban and other militant groups since the withdrawal of most NATO troops in 2014.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the 17-year conflict in Afghanistan and improvised explosive devices are one of the main causes of casualties.

A total of 10,453 civilian casualties — 3,438 people killed and 7,015 injured — were recorded by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) last year.

With reporting by AFP

Source: Radio Free Europe

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