IED Kills 18 Afghan Bus Passengers

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KABUL, Afghanistan, July 29 (UPI) — A passenger bus struck an improvised explosive device Friday in south Afghanistan’s Helmand province, leaving at least 18 people dead, an official said.

The bus was traveling from Nahr-e-Saraj to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah when the bomb went off, CNN reported, quoting Dawood Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

The explosion wounded several people, the report said.

The attack came a day after insurgents killed at least 22 people in the southern province of Uruzgan before being repelled by Afghan forces. The Taliban took responsibility for that attack carried out by eight people, three of them suicide bombers.

Those killed in Thursday’s attack included Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, a reporter for the Pajhwok news agency and the BBC Pashto service.

Laskhar Gah was one seven places where security responsibility was transferred to Afghan security forces by the United States and NATO recently, a process scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014 as foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

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