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34 killed in landmine-caused bus crash in W. Afghanistan

FARAH, Afghanistan, July 31 (Xinhua) — At least 34 people were killed and 17 others wounded in a long-distance bus crash in Afghanistan’s western Farah province on Wednesday, a local official confirmed.

“The accident occurred following an explosion when a pressure-plate landmine struck the ill-fated bus, causing it to veer off road and overturn along a main road in Aab Khorma locality of Farah Wednesday morning,” the provincial official told Xinhua anonymously.

Women and children were among the dead and injured. Several injured were shifted to a regional hospital in neighboring Herat province, the official added.

The death toll was likely to rise as some of the injured were in critical condition.

The official blamed Taliban militant group for planting the landmine on the roadside.

Taliban militants have been using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to make roadside bombs and landmines for targeting security forces, but the lethal home-made weapons also inflict casualties on civilians.

The Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of armed conflicts as more than 1,360 civilians were killed and over 2,440 others injured in conflict-related incidents in the first six months of this year, according to figures released by the United Nations mission in the country.

The IED and landmine explosions are the second largest cause of civilians’ casualties following ground fighting in Afghanistan.

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