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KANDAHAR - At least 30 civilians were killed when a bus hit a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan in an attack blamed on the Taliban, the interior ministry said.
The dead include 10 children and seven women, the ministry said, revising an earlier toll from the local governor's office.
"Thirty people were killed," the ministry said in a statement, adding that 39 others were wounded.
The governor's office said the bus was travelling from the western city of Herat to Kandahar yesterday when it hit an improvised mine (the Taliban's weapon of choice that has claimed hundreds of lives in Maywand district).
"The mine was placed by enemies of the country," an expression used to refer to Islamic insurgents, the governor's office said.
Kandahar is a Taliban stronghold and has seen some of the worst violence in the militants' battle against Western troops and the internationally-backed Afghan government.
Afghan and international troops arrived at the scene of the explosion, around 40 kilometres west of Kandahar city, the regional capital, and ferried the wounded to military bases for treatment.
On Monday, three civilians, including a woman, were killed when their car hit a bomb in the road in the same area. Two others were also wounded.
Nato issues almost daily reports on deaths from improvised explosive devices, principally in the southern Taliban strongholds but also increasingly in previously peaceful provinces.
The United Nations reports that in the first eight months of this year 40percent of the civilian fatalities in Afghanistan (more than 600 people) were caused by IEDs or suicide attacks.
Western governments spending billions to support the Afghan government have highlighted IEDs as the biggest challenge facing troops deployed to Taliban hot spots. - Sapa-AFP