Forty-five people have died in a fireball when a bus collided with the wreckage of a truck that had been attacked by Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan.
The battered oil tanker had been left in the middle of a narrow road near the border of Kandahar and Helmand provinces for several days after insurgents attacked it. Police considered the area too dangerous to enter, officials said.
The bus smashed into the truck in darkness and burst into flames, said Abdul Razaq, the provincial police chief of Kandahar.
As police, soldiers and ambulances rushed to the desolate area, where many of the victims were burned beyond recognition, one survivor, Mohammad Habib, cried as he searched for his brother.
"I don't care about my belongings and money that were burned inside the bus, but please help me find my brother, dead or alive," he said. "How will I face my mother without him?"
Ten people were reported injured. Many of the victims, including men, women and children, were taken to Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar city.
The bus began its journey in the capital of Helmand province and was to stop in Kandahar city, then travel north to Kabul, the Afghan capital.
Meanwhile, Afghan and coalition forces have arrested about 10 insurgents in four provinces of Afghanistan, including several Taliban fighters in Kandahar, the International Security Assistance Force said.