Kabul, Afghanistan — A bus crash killed 30 people in southern Afghanistan after the vehicle collided with the wrecked remains of an oil tanker attacked by Taliban insurgents.
It is estimated that upto 11 people were injured in the crash, which occurred before sunrise on Friday.
Officials say the battered tanker had been left by insurgents for several days. Its position, in the middle of a narrow road on the border of Helmand and Kandahar provinces, meant it posed a significant hazard for other traffic. Authorities had declared the area too dangerous to enter.
When the bus collided with the tanker, both vehicles burst into flames. Abdul Razaq, provincial police chief of Kandahar, said the fiery crash had caused many passengers to sustain severe burns.
Razaq stated that eight passengers had been injured in the incident, while Omar Zawak, the governor’s spokesman in Helmand province, later gave an estimate of 11. Razaq and Zawak both confirmed men, women, and children had been casualties.
The bus, which left the capital of Helmand province late Thursday, was scheduled to stop in Kandahar city before traveling north to Kabul, the Afghan capital.
The bus crash preceded by a few hours the arrest of ten insurgents by Afghan and coalition forces. The arrests were made following joint operations in four provinces of Afghanistan. Those arrested included several Taliban fighters in Kandahar.