A ROADSIDE bombing has killed at least 11 people, including women and children, on a bus in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials say the explosion in the country’s western Farah province also wounded 31 civilians.

Abdul Jabar Shahiq, chief of the province’s health department, says the bus was on its way from Herat province toward the capital Kabul when it struck the roadside bomb in the Bala Buluk district.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but the Taliban have a strong presence in the province, especially in Bala Buluk where they often plant roadside bombs to target government officials or Afghan security forces.

Such attacks often end up inflicting significant casualties among civilians.

The latest report by the United Nations says the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan in the first half of this year increased by 1%, compared to the same period last year. The UN mission in Afghanistan said the number – 1692 killed by violence – is the highest six-month death toll since the systematic documentation of civilian casualties started in 2009.

Since the US and Nato formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014, a resurgent Taliban have stepped up attacks across the country and a Daesh affiliate has also emerged, claiming scores of civilian lives.

Farah province has seen heavy fighting in recent months, with local officials and tribal elders requesting extra government forces to support the overburdened army and police.

In May, more than 300 Taliban launched a multi-pronged attack on the city of Farah before they were repelled. At least 25 government troops were killed in the fighting.

Meanwhile, the Daesh group claimed responsibility for an attack the previous day in eastern Nangarhar province that killed a tribal leader and three others. In Monday’s attack, a suicide car bomber targeted and killed Haji Hayat Khan, the commander of a local militia battling both the Taliban and Daesh militants.

In a statement, the militants warned all those fighting against them would meet the same fate.