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Taliban Ambush Bus Passengers

CNN and the New York Times are reporting on the violence in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Officials said Taliban militants kidnapped and killed between 30 and 40 bus passengers in southern Afghanistan Thursday.

Afghan officials said the victims were citizens, but a Taliban spokesman said the group arrested and killed 27 Afghan soldiers.

"They were all army soldiers from Laghman province and they wre going to Helmand province to support the governor," said Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammed Yousif Ahmadi.

The Afghan general said that no soldiers were killed in the attack, noting that they do not travel by road but always fly.

The NYT reports that as many as 30 of the passengers were beheaded after being accused of being soldiers traveling in civilian clothes.

The attack follows a pattern of brutality that Taliban insurgents have pursued, spreading terror in an effort to undermine support for the government.