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Taliban militants seige bus; dozens feared dead

Taliban militants hijacked a bus in southern Afghanistan on Thursday and executed at least 2 dozen passengers after accusing them of being soldiers in civilian clothing.

General Matiullah Qati, the police chief of Kandahar Province, where the attack occurred, said to theInternational Herald Tribune that all six of the bodies they have retrieved so far have been beheaded and mutilated. There are reports of at least 24 others, but they have yet to be found, according to the International Herald Tribune.

Many of the passengers were women and children. The incident, according to the Los Angeles Times proved the dangers of traveling in the Afghan countryside.

Authorities said the passengers were traveling in a two-bus convoy, in order to increase their safety. An earlier bus managed to speed away from militants who had set up a checkpoint, however, the second bus, which held about 50 people, was not as lucky.

The Los Angeles Times reported that violence has hit an all-time high level since the conflict began. While combatants have made up the majority of those killed, civilian deaths this year have been estimated to be more than 1300 by the United Nations.