At least 13 civilians were killed while traveling on a bus on Saturday, by gunmen who attacked a bus in northern Afghanistan, reported Afghan officials.
Jafar Haidari, District Governor of Zari in Balkh Province, stated that of the 13 people killed, most of them belong to Shi'ite Hazara ethnic minority, who were victimized by Taliban during their rule in 1996-2001.
“A group of gunmen open fired on a bus killing 13 people including one woman” Ataullah Khogyani, the Spokesman for the Provincial Governor, said to AFP.
Afghanistan has been seeing similar stories for the last 5 months. Last month, there was another kidnapping by gunmen in east Afghanistan.
Few days later Taliban fighters killed four Hazaras, who are a Persian-speaking people who mainly live in central Afghanistan and Hazara Town in Balochistan, Pakistan.
There was no claim of responsibility for Saturday's attack, an investigation team was dispatched to the area, Munir Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the Balkh Governor, said.
A total of 3,699 Afghan civilians were killed and 6,849 wounded in the fighting last year.
The 22 percent rise in civilian deaths and injuries – the highest total since the U.N. began keeping records in 2009 - came despite US generals' assessment that the newly trained Afghan army and police are winning the war.