Afghanistan: Roadside IED blast kills 34 bus passengers

17 also injured in deadly incident in province bordering Iran, just days after start of presidential election campaigning

Afghanistan: Roadside IED blast kills 34 bus passengers

A major roadside landmine blast in Farah, western Afghanistan, bordering Iran, killed at least 34 people on Wednesday morning, an official confirmed.

A passenger bus coming from the neighboring Herat province hit a roadside improvised explosive device around 8.00 a.m. (0330GMT), killing 34 passengers and injuring 17, Muhib Muhib, spokesman for the Farah police headquarters, told Anadolu Agency.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The province has witnessed a spike in the Taliban-led insurgency since the city of Farah briefly fell to the militants.

The police spokesman accused the Taliban of planting IEDs alongside roads and highways.

The attack comes just days after the start of campaigning for Afghanistan’s September presidential election.

On Tuesday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan documented 3,812 civilian casualties (1,366 deaths and 2,446 injured) in the first half of 2019.

According to the UNAMA, IEDs were the number two cause of casualties, representing 28% of the total.