The Taliban group issued contradictory statements regarding a deadly roadside bomb explosion that killed 34 civilians including women and children on Kandahar-Herat highway.

Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid issued a statement earlier this evening stating that a civilian bus faced an incident in Aab Khormai area of Farah on Kandahar-Herat Highway which ‘martyred 34 civilians and wounded some others’.

However, the group issued another statement two hours later stating that “Convoy travelling from #Herat was engaged with IEDs today in Aab Khorma area of Farah Rod #Farah resulting in 2 APCs destroyed & over 15 gunmen KIA/WIA. This convoy was trying to reinforce another convoy besieged for past couple of days in the district center.”

An explosion ripped through a passenger bus on Herat-Kandahar highway killing or wounding at least 34 civilians earlier today.

The passenger bus was travelling to Farah province from Herat when it struck an Improvised Explosive Device.

The explosion killed at least 34 civilians and wounded 17 others including many women and children.

Civilian Casualties UN Report and Afghan Government Reaction:

Today’s incident took place a day after the UN mission released its latest report regarding civilian casualties in Afghanistan, reporting a 31 percent increase in civilian casualties attributed to pro-government forces.

However, the Afghan government strongly reacted to the latest report of UN mission in Afghanistan.

Presidential spokesperson Sediq Seddiqi told reporters that the Afghan government has strong observations on the latest report of UNAMA

Sediqqi further added “First of all we question their data collection method. For us it’s unacceptable to just refer to initial media reports.”

Furthermore, Sediqqi said “Any report of incidents needs further investigations. That has to be credible. You have to also report the results of the investigations being done by relevant organizations.”

Sediqqi further added that Taliban are targeting civilian intentionally, they are bombing market, mosques, playgrounds and schools and planting mine on the roads.

Roadside bombings tactic that usually lead to civilian casualties:

Taliban militants and other insurgent groups frequently use improvised explosive devices as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces.

However, majority of IED attacks lead to civilian among the ordinary population of the country.