Bus Passengers Killed in Afghanistan Attack
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Armed men have killed 13 passengers travelling on a bus towards southern Afghanistan, officials said, the latest attack to target civilians in the country's conflict.
Tuesday's killings in Wardak province, which lies close to the capital Kabul, highlighted Afghanistan's fragile security situation as President Ashraf Ghani holds talks in Washington.
Ataullah Khogyani, spokesperson for the provincial governor, told AFP a group of armed men opened fire on a bus in Wardak around 1am local time (2030 GMT Monday), killing 13 people including one woman.
The bus was heading for the southern city of Kandahar, once a bastion of the Taliban.
Mohammad Ali, the deputy governor of neighbouring Ghazni province, confirmed the incident, and said the attackers picked their victims and shot them one by one.
Both officials said the motive for the attack was still under investigation.
Last month, masked attackers abducted 30 Shiite members from the Hazara ethnic group from a bus in Zabul province. They have still not been recovered.
NATO ended its combat operation against the Taliban in December after 13 years of war, leaving Afghan forces to deal with the fighters themselves.
A smaller contingent of foreign troops, most of them American, is staying on for training and counter-terror operations.