BBC News, August 18, 2011
Afghan roadside bomb “kills 22” in Herat province
Afghan officials said the roadside bomb in Herat was planted by the Taliban
A female victim of a roadside bomb lies on a bed at a hospital in Herat, west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011. The roadside bomb killed at least 20 passengers traveling on a minibus Thursday in western Afghanistan, another example of civilians being caught in the crossfire of the fighting between Taliban insurgents and the U.S.-led coalition. (Photo: AP/Hoshang Hashimi)
At least 22 people have been killed and many wounded when a roadside bomb hit a crowded minibus in the Afghan province of Herat, officials say.
Officials said the bus was full and women and children were among the casualties.
It was travelling from Obe district to the provincial capital, which recently passed to the control of Afghan forces.
Earlier on Thursday, a suicide attack at a US-run base in eastern Paktia province killed two Afghan guards.
"It was a big, powerful blast," the Associated Press news agency quoted Abdul Bashir, a village elder, as saying.
"Among the dead are men, women and children. The bodies are not easily recognisable."
The bus was on its way to a market where the passengers were going to shop, the agency quoted Mohyuddin Noori, a spokesman for the province's governor, as saying.
Afghan officials said the roadside bomb in Herat was planted by the Taliban.
Last December, 14 people were killed when a bus hit an explosive planted in the same area.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are widely used by insurgents. Their intended targets are Afghan or international security forces but because they are left unsupervised and activated by a pressure plate, civilian vehicles often detonate the explosives.
IEDs are to blame for the majority of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.
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