50 dead in Afghan oil tanker crash

2012-09-14 15:03
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Ghazni - A passenger bus collided with a fuel tanker in Afghanistan on Friday, killing 50 people and injuring several others, with women and children among the victims, officials said.

The incident happened in Ab Band district of Ghazni province, on the highway from Kabul to Kandahar, the capital of the south and Afghanistan's second largest city, on what is one of the most dangerous roads in the country.

It was not immediately clear to whom the fuel tanker belonged.

Ghazni is part of the main supply route for Nato goods coming into Afghanistan from the north and heading south.

"At around 02:00 a passenger bus collided with a fuel tanker in the Spin Band area of Ab Band," Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, the deputy governor of the province, said.

"As a result, the fuel tanker and the passenger bus caught fire and 50 people were killed and six others were wounded in the collision. There are women and children among the victims," he said.

Interior ministry spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi also said that 50 people had died, with five others wounded.

Baz Mohammad Himmat, the head of the main hospital in Ghazni city, said only that five wounded had been brought in after the accident, but had no information about the dead.

Afghanistan's roads are perilous and many vehicles in the country are old, meaning that high casualty road traffic accidents are relatively common.

There was no immediate suggestion that insurgents had been involved in Friday's accident, but Ghazni is a flashpoint for Taliban attacks, particularly on the highway.

The Islamist militia is leading a 10-year insurgency against the US-backed government and 177 000 Nato combat troops who by the end of 2014 are due to withdraw and hand over security responsibility to Afghans.

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