Road bomb hits Afghan minibus, many feared dead

Kabul–A roadside bomb destroyed a crowded minibus in a southern Afghan province and many of its passengers are feared killed, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.

Rafi Behrozan, spokesman for Heart’s governor, said he did not know how many people died in the blast but added that the powerful explosion in the Kushk Kuhna district killed the majority of passengers on board.

Minibuses usually carry between 15 and 20 people. He said the vehicle was crowded with members of an extended family.

"The explosion was very strong and the vehicle was destroyed. The majority of those aboard were killed," Behrozan said.

Also Thursday, NATO said a coalition airstrike the previous day killed four Afghan soldiers after they were mistaken for militants.

Afghan Defense Ministry Spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the soldiers had left their base in Helmand's Musa Qala district on Wednesday night when they came under fire from NATO planes.

NATO told the Afghan government that the coalition thought the men were militants, he added.

A spokesman for NATO forces, Captain Ciro Parisi of the Italian army, said a team has been sent to investigate the incident. Citing the ongoing investigation, he would not confirm details of Azimi's account.

NATO troops mistakenly killed Afghan forces during other incidents this year.

In August, three Afghan policemen were killed in northern Jowzjan province in an airstrike aimed at insurgents who were attacking them. In July, a botched NATO airstrike killed six Afghan soldiers in Ghazni province in the eastern part of the country. The coalition said the Afghan army unit gave international forces the wrong location.

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